It’s back to school time, and children across Southern California will be spending recess and afterschool time climbing, swinging, and running on playgrounds. While these childhood staples provide children with hours of fun and activities, they can also be quite dangerous when not properly supervised or maintained.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that emergency departments across the country see more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 for injuries occurring on the playground. The most common injuries included:
- Bone fractures
- Internal complications
While the vast majority of these injured children survive, an average of 12 children died each year between 1990 and 2000 due to playground-related injuries. So, where does a parent turn when a child is injured in a playground accident?
Playground accidents most commonly occur at school or daycare
When a child is injured on a school or daycare playground, a knowledgeable Los Angeles child injury lawyer understands that the school or daycare may be liable for the injuries. When determining whether a viable childhood injury claim exists, a lawyer may look for such factors as:
- Poorly maintained equipment. School and daycare officials have a duty to adequately maintain playground equipment. Broken swings, damaged parts, and the rusting of metal parts can create dangerous conditions for playing children.
- Lack of reasonable safety measures. Playground areas should be equipped with proper safety measures to prevent child injuries. From soft ground surfaces to rounded edges, these precautions can keep children safe from harm.
- Inadequate supervision. Schools are also responsible for providing adequate supervision of children when they are on the playground. This means that there should be a proper child-to-teacher ratio, as well as an unobstructed view of all children.
Childhood injuries may lead to product liability claims
Under some circumstances, the equipment within the playground may have caused the resulting injuries. Some examples of a playground product liability claim may include:
- Design defect. If the design of the playground equipment makes it inherently unsafe, the negligent designer may be held financially responsible.
- Manufacturing defect. Defective playground equipment may also stem from a manufacturing error, such as the use of ill-fitting parts. Under these circumstances, the manufacturer may be held liable.
An investigation into the cause of injury may even lead to a determination that the company or entity that installed the playground equipment did so in a negligent manner.