According to the Center for Disease Control, each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. About 45% of playground-related injuries are severe injuries consisting of fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations. About 75% of nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds. Most occur at schools and daycare centers. Between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground-related injuries. Of them, 82 (56%) died from strangulation and 31 (20%) died from falls to the playground surface. Most of these deaths (70%) occurred on home playgrounds.
On public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbers than on any other equipment. Notably, a recent study in New York City found that playgrounds in low-income areas had more maintenance-related hazards than playgrounds in high-income areas. For example, playgrounds in low-income areas had significantly more trash, rusty play equipment, and damaged fall surfaces.
Playground injuries can cause catastrophic injuries, the full extent of which is not immediately recognized. For example, a broken bone at the location of a child’s growth plate may cause the bone to stop growing, thus causing a condition which can only be repaired by a horrifically painful process necessitating external fixation and manually stretching the bone.
If your child is ever injured, Pennsylvania protects the rights of children by extending the statute of limitations (the time when you can sue) via the Minor’s Tolling Statute. However, the Minor’s Tolling Statute does not extend a parents time to make claim for the reimbursement of the costly medical bills expended to treat and care for their child.
If your child is ever injured, it is imperative that you immediately consult with an experienced attorney who is familiar with the laws and the unique ramifications of injuries to Children. Call Ferrara Law Offices for a free consultation.