As a parent of young children, Miami Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky knows too well that for too many children, play time on school and park playgrounds don’t always end with smiling faces. Unfortunately, personal injuries, mainly head injuries, from playground falls are rapidly increasing across the United States.
While many schools and parks have taken necessary steps to reduce so-called accidental traumatic head injuries, over the past decade, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the number of children under the age of 14 who have been seen at hospital ERs due to acute head injuries has risen to over twenty thousand annually. Generally parents focus on the number of head injuries associated with sports, such as football, but head injuries, including concussions, caused by falls on playgrounds are a growing epidemic which needs to be better addressed. The number of head injury visits to emergency rooms rose by almost fifty percent over the past 3 years. Boys made up nearly sixty percent of those emergency room visits. Nearly one half of the children seen at ERs were between five and nine years old.
Although some of the increase in head injury emergency room care may be attributed to parents becoming more aware of the dangers presented by head trauma, given the increased publicity about professional football plays; there can be no doubt that falls from monkey bars and swings play an increasing role in playground concussions. Not surprisingly, almost sixty percent of all children and adolescent head injuries happen on school playgrounds. Parents need to remain vigilant of the symptoms of brain injury children may display after suffering head trauma.
The disconcerting part about the study is that over the last few years, most schools and cities have made concerted efforts to reduce playground injuries, by increasing safety precautions. Some of the most frequent efforts to improve playground safety include using recycled tires as a ground covering to soften the blows caused by falls. Also, many steel posts, including those which hold up swings, are being covered in padding, to help prevent injuries to children who may carelessly run into them.
Despite these advances, the inherent dangers of some playground apparatus, including monkey bars, are highly difficult to fully prevent children from suffering injuries while using them. While parents hope that teachers and coaches pay close attention to the children under their care, often times these custodians have momentary lapses of attention, which may cause a child to fall and suffer head trauma. For over 20 years, Miami injury attorney Joseph Lipsky has helped seriously injured children receive compensation for their injuries due to falls from slides, monkey bars and unsupervised “free play,” including lawsuits against the City of Miami, Miami Dade County Parks and Recreation, and numerous public and private schools.
While children need the exercise and freedom to play, for both their physical and mental wellbeing, it is imperative that properly adult supervision is provided by caretakers to help an unsuspecting child avoid a life altering head injury. Such supervision should include making sure children are acting safely, but not hanging upside down or by failing to use equipment as it is intended. Florida personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky hopes all teachers, parents and coaches understand their roles in helping prevent child playground injuries.