Are Your Children Safe On Playgrounds?
Approximately 200,000 children 14 years of age and under are treated for playground injuries each year. Between 2001 and 2008, 40 children died from playground-related injuries. The number of children suffering serious brain injuriesand concussions from playground accidents is rising.
When we send our children out to play on playground equipment whether at school or at a park, we expect that equipment and the playground to be safe. Unfortunately, some of the accidents that occur on playgrounds are not “accidents.” An accident is an event that typically cannot be avoided; however, injuries resulting from negligence can be avoided if the negligent party had acted responsibly.
When a child is injured in a playground-related accident due to the negligence of another party, the child may be entitled to compensation under California’s premises liability laws.
Premises Liability and Playground Accidents
When we discuss premises liability, most people think about typical “slip and fall” injuries in stores, parking lots, construction sites, etc. However, some playground injuries qualify as a premises liability claim. Examples of cases where a party may be responsible for your child’s injury include but are not limited to:
- The party who designed the playground if the design contains a defect that makes an accident more likely;
- The party who owns the playground if the playground is not properly maintained;
- The company that manufactured the playground equipment if the equipment is faulty;
- Someone who made modifications to the playground that created a dangerous condition; and,
- The company who maintains the playground if it created a dangerous condition that resulted in an injury.
Depending on the circumstances and the facts of the case, one or more parties may be liable for your child’s injuries. An experienced Fresno premises liability attorney can help you determine who is liable and who should be responsible for paying your child’s medical bills and other damages.
Playground Safety Tips
When you children are at a playground, you should supervise them at all times. Accidents can happen very quickly and immediate intervention can prevent an injury from becoming worse. Tips for playground safety include:
- Dress children appropriately for playing on playground equipment. No loose fitting clothing, dangling jewelry, scarves, clothing with drawstrings, open-toed shoes, etc.
- Teach your children not to shove or push other children on the playground.
- Check playgrounds for hazards before allowing your children to play.
- Only allow your children to play on age-appropriate equipment. Younger children should only play on playgrounds designed for young children. Do not let your older child play on toddler playgrounds — this can put younger children at risk for accidents.
- Avoid playgrounds with hard surfaces. Playgrounds should have impact absorbing materials such as wood chips, shredded rubber, or sand.
For more information on playground safety, read the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Public Playground Safety Handbook.
If you believe your child’s playground injury was caused by a dangerous condition, contact our office for a free consultation with a Fresno personal injury attorney. Call Torem & Associates at (888) 500-5000 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation.