Tips On Preventing Playground Injuries

In speaking with several insurance claims adjusters and underwriters of insurance carriers who write Nursery School Insurance and Daycare Insurance,  playgrounds yield consistently the highest injury rates. Makes sense right? Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes on a playground has certainly been witness to a “near miss”.
As someone who underwrites insurance coverage for many types of nursery schools , day cares,  and community centers  we think it’s critically important to remind folks who own and manage these facilities of some of the basics. In fact we encourage you the reader to pass this article around your facility to boost playground safety awareness.
We found a great site entitled www.brainline.org whose whole mission is to provide information to families and care givers who have had an experience with traumatic brain injuries. We offer these tips so your kids could avoid this terrible fate.

Playground Injury & Death Statistics

  • Over 200,000 children visit emergency rooms each year due to playground injuries.3

  • Every year 15 children perish due to incidents involving playground equipment.4

  • 79% of ALL playground injuries involve falls.

  • Playground Falls account for 90% of the worst playground injuries.5

  • 58% of playground fatalities are due to strangulation.6

Kid at playground

Playground Injuries Occur When….

  • 62% of organized sports injuries occur during practice, and 75% of all school-related spinal cord injuries happen during sports activities.7

  • Football is responsible for the highest injury rate among school-organized sports.8

  • Home injuries on playground equipment account for 23% of the annual injury rates.9

  • 76% of all injuries take place on public playgrounds.10

Who Is Most Likely to Incur This Type of Injury?

  • Males account for 62% of all playground deaths.11

  • Males are three times more likely to incur a school-related injury.12

  • 46% of school-related injuries are to those ages 10-14.13

  • 49% of injuries to the head and face are to children age four and under.14

The High Cost Of Playground  Injuries

  • School-related medical costs for children age 14 and under account for more than $2 billion in medical spending each year.15

  • The total annual cost of school-related injuries to children ages 14 and under exceeds $74 billion, which includes medical spending, loss in quality of life and future earnings.16

Playground Injury Safety  Tips

  • Playground equipment is designed for children of various ages and groups. Be sure your equipment is age appropriate.

  • Equipment under four feet tall is suitable for children under 5, equipment under eight feet tall is typically designed  for those ages 5-12.

  • Never EVER leave children unsupervised. Basic but often forgotten.

  • Ban cell phone use for aides, teachers, or supervisors that are on playground duty so they are not distracted.

  • To better absorb shocks from falls, make sure at least 12 inches of loose fill like wood chips, gravel, shredded tires, double shredded bark mulch, fine gravel or sand covers the entire playground floor.

  • Make sure any “S” hooks , or other hooking related hazards are closed as much as possible. We want to avoid anything a child may become caught, eliminating the threat of strangulation.

  • Place a bar at the top of a slide so children will have to sit before going down.

  • Make sure guardrails protect children from unintended falls from elevated platforms.

  • Consistently inspect the equipment. Institute a strict maintenance schedule and have sign offs that the equipment has been inspected.

  • Maintain inspection and repair logs for the equipment.

Inspect children’s clothes for hoods or drawstrings that may catch on equipment. Remove them prior to letting the children on the equipment.

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