How frequent are playground injuries?
There are 200,000 children treated in the emergency department throughout the United States every year because of playground-related injuries, accordingly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If that isn’t alarming enough, between 2001 and 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated 40 deaths associated with playground equipment. In those, the average age of the child that died was only six (6) years old.
When is enough, enough? Playground injuries to kids are preventable, which is why daycare centers must take a proactive approach to maintenance and safety.
What do we expect daycare centers to do to prevent playground injuries?
First, the daycare centers must ensure that the playground equipment is age appropriate. Parents know to read about the equipment that their child is going to be using. Some playground equipment and toys are safe for older kids but not younger kids. There are not too many “one-size-fits-all” pieces of playground equipment out there.
Also, the daycare centers need to be aware of dangerous mixes with playground equipment. For example, 68% of all kids that died on playgrounds between 2001 and 2008 died from strangulation. One form of a dangerous combination is when kids are allowed to have jump ropes on or near the slides. If the kid doesn’t die, we have seen significant brain injuries result from this.
This means that daycare centers must have different sections of the play areas for different ages of kids. It is not a safe policy to allow young kids play on playground equipment for bigger kids just like you don’t want a kid riding a bicycle that is too big for them. It is just asking for something bad to happen.
Second, the daycare centers must protect the fall zones. Because kids are still working on their coordination and behavior with others, the surfacing of their play areas must be padded and soft. Most play areas should be padded with wood chips, sand or mulch. Concrete play areas are begging for broken bones. If adults don’t play football on concrete floors, then why are kids?
We have seen a number of daycare centers put pads out there near the equipment. However, if those pads are not replaced and monitored frequently due to the weather elements, they become just as hard, if not harder, than concrete and present just as much of a danger. What ground cover does your daycare have? If you do not know, please go check immediately.
Finally, the daycare centers must have a maintenance system. Every daycare center must have a routine maintenance system that involves regular safety checks, cleaning, maintenance repairs, and testing to ensure the equipment is safe for kids of all ages. Every daycare center must have a supervision system set up to ensure that proper routine maintenance is being performed on the playground equipment. We all know that rules without a system for enforcing them isn’t worth the ink on the paper. What is the daycare system at your kids’ daycare center? We hope they have one.
Want To Learn More About Playground Injury Cases at Dallas Daycare Centers?
All of our clients want to make sure that whatever happened to their child doesn’t happen to another. Thus, we make it our mission to make daycare playgrounds safer with each case we handle to ensure that there is greater good going around than just money.
What steps should every parent take if their child was injured on a playground at a daycare center? We wrote about that exact topic just for families that are victims of unsafe playgrounds.
If you would like to receive answers to any daycare or children injury questions you have, please reach out. We are here to make daycare a safer place for our kids and protect future kids from harm. Give our Dallas Daycare lawyers a call at 214-888-2216 or fill out this form to tell us your story so we can see if we can help.
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