It’s nearly summer and kids across Pennsylvania and New Jersey will be getting outdoor time at local playgrounds. After all, playgrounds are ideal places for kids to get exercise, play and have fun with friends. Parents often assume that playgrounds are safe, and they usually are.
However, what most parents don’t realize is that playground accidents are one of the most common reasons for a trip to the emergency room. In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), each year, there are roughly 220,000 playground related injuries that require trips to the ER. The vast majority of these ER trips involve children under the age of 15. Source: CPSC Public Playground Safety Handbook (December 2015)
Related: New Parents Alert – Beware of Recalled Baby Products
Playground Accident Facts
- 56% of playground injuries are fractures and bruises.
- 75% of playground injuries occur on public playgrounds.
- Children between the ages of 5 to 9 have higher rates of ER visits for playground injuries.
- Monkey bars and climbing equipment account for more injuries than any other equipment.
Playground Accidents – Top Causes of Injuries
In order to prevent playground accidents, it’s important to know the most common causes of playground injuries:
- Equipment hazards (breakage, tip over, etc.)
- Colliding with other children or stationary objects
Proper supervision is the number one factor which can prevent playground accidents. Whether it’s at the school playground or the playground in the neighborhood, children should be supervised by a responsible adult.
In addition, it’s important to ensure that children are playing on age-appropriate play structures. Very young children should not be playing on a play structure intended for older children.
Playground Accident Deaths
While playground accident deaths are rare, they do occur. Each year, roughly 6 playground accident deaths are investigated by the CPSC.
Playground accident deaths often occur due to entanglement, falls and impact with equipment. Children, especially young children under the age of 6, can become entangled in ropes and leashes. Even strings in clothing and shoes pose a risk of strangulation.
Playgrounds and Brain Injuries – On the Rise
Brain injuries resulting from playground accidents have been on the rise since 2005. They often occur at school and involve monkey bars, climbing equipment and swings. Brain injuries due to playground accidents occur most often during the weekdays and during the months of April, May and September.
For more information about playgrounds, please visit the CPSC website.