Now that school is out in Florida, many children are dropped off at daycare centers, camp, babysitters, or other places of care. Many children are outdoors more often, and for many young ones, that means quality time on playgrounds. While playgrounds can be a fun way for children to stay active while enjoying plenty of fresh air, they can also be hazardous.
Each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 200 000 children under the age of 14 years are treated for in emergency rooms for injuries sustained on playgrounds. These injuries can be severe, ranging from strangulation, brain injury, internal injuries, amputations, fractures, and spinal cord injuries. In fact, the CDC reports that about 45% of injuries sustained on playgrounds are severe.
According to the CDC, playground injuries can occur at school, at daycare, at camp and even at residential playgrounds. Although studies suggest that 75% of nonfatal playground-related injuries occur on public playgrounds, the CDC suggests that parents remain vigilant and check all toys and play areas where their children play.
In the ten years leading up to 2000, 147 young children across the country died from injuries sustained on the playground. Of these children, according to the CDC, 56% dies of strangulation and 20% died of falls.
Parents will want to ensure that children playing on swings, climbers and other playground equipment are always supervised. All equipment should be checked for safety before children are allowed to play. When installing playground equipment at home, parents should ensure that there is plenty of cushion under all equipment in case of falls. Parents should select equipment that has a good safety rating and should follow directions carefully when setting up and using the playground.