Child Playground Injuries a Risk Through Summer

A family in Tennessee is seeking to recover damages after their little girl suffered injuries while playing on a defective swing set at school – a swing set that had been recalled in 2009 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
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Despite the recall, the swing set remained in use on school grounds. The district contends it did not receive notice of the recall. Nearly six years after that recall was initiated, the injury occurred. The swing set broke while the girl was playing on it, causing her to come crashing to the ground. She sustained bruises to her left side, and her parents say the injuries have been ongoing. She’s racked up nearly $5,000 in medical bills and has also incurred pain and suffering.

The district offered to settle for $5,000, but the family is seeking $10,000. The personal injury attorney has indicated she is prepared to take the case to trial, though is hopeful a settlement will be reached prior to that point.

Playground injuries are a serious problem in the U.S. – and not just during the school year. Parks and recreational facility playgrounds can be treacherous, and so too can backyard play sets at private residences. While caution and adequate supervision is always necessary, there may be an even greater case for liability if the products on which children are playing have been recalled.

In this case, the reporter found the school district doesn’t even have an accounting of the playground equipment they maintain, meaning there would be no way for them to check if there was a recall unless the district registered with the manufacturer when the items were installed.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports every year, more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 are treated for injuries sustained on playgrounds.

Among the most common injuries:
–Fractures –Internal injuries –Concussions –Dislocations –Amputations
Approximately three-fourths of all non-fatal playground injuries occur on public playground equipment – mostly at schools and daycare centers.

In the decade between 1990 and 2000, approximately 150 children under 14 died in playground related injuries. The majority were the result of strangulation, and most of the rest due to falls.

The annual cost of playground injuries is estimated to be about $1.2 billion nationally.

Although all children are potentially at-risk, girls are slightly more likely to suffer injury than boys, with children between the ages of 5 and 9 most likely to be treated in a hospital emergency room for these incidents.

While climbers are the most dangerous equipment on public playgrounds, it’s the swings that cause the most problems on private play sets.

This is a national problem. In addition to the recent Tennessee report, the comptroller in New York City reports claims against the city for playground injuries has risen 53 percent in recent years. Between 2005 and 2014, the city has paid a total of $21 million to families whose children have sustained injuries on government-maintained playgrounds.

Certain playgrounds were notorious for having more problems than others.Some examples of the more common issues to result in claims were:
–Dangerous swings –Unsafe climbing equipment –Improper maintenance of equipment –Holes and cracks in walking surfaces
If your child has been seriously injured in a playground accident, consult with a lawyer to determine whether you may have a case for liability.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:
Knox County Schools recalled swing set injury could lead to lawsuit, May 7, 2015, By Mike Donila, WBIR
More Blog Entries:
Coba v. Tricam Indus., Inc. – Defective Ladder Lawsuit Before Florida Supreme Court, May 30, 2015, Fort Lauderdale Child Injury Attorney Blog