Playgrounds can be oases of fun in the summer for kids, but they can also pose some serious dangers. According to the results of one recent study by the federal government, swings and monkey bars are often the culprits in the uptick in concussions occurring on playgrounds.
Although the statistics they cite indicate that the bulk of the children’s injuries were considered mild, whenever there is head trauma, there is the potential for brain damage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted research over the 12-year period from 2001 to 2013. They studied incidents resulting in playground injuries among children under 15 who were treated in emergency rooms all across the country.
All told, an average of nearly 215,000 children received treatment each year. Of that number, approximately 21,000 — about 10 percent — suffered traumatic brain injuries that included concussions.
Over a decade ago, just 23 of 100,000 children suffered traumatic brain injuries, but the rate had climbed to 48 in 100,000 by 2013. In that year, nearly 30,000 minors were treated for brain injuries.
One possible reason for the precipitous rise is that more parents are now aware of the risk that concussions can pose to their kids, causing more parents to seek treatment for their injured children. Other possibilities include that more children are using the equipment on playground.
It’s important to note that the vast majority of those injured children were sent home from the emergency room to recuperate, and no further treatment was necessary. However, for the unlucky 3 percent of concussed kids, hospitalization and/or a transfer to a better-equipped facility was necessary. Children from age five to nine had 50 percent of the head injuries studied, and boys made up a disproportionate share of the injured group.
One way to deter playground concussions is to cushion kids falls with sand or wood chip surfaces, as concrete remains unforgiving. Adults should also supervise kids at play and check first to make sure that the equipment is safe to use.
Was your child injured on a playground? It may be possible to recover damages from those responsible for maintaining the playground equipment on which he or she was injured.
Source: Yahoo, Monkey bars alert: Playground concussions are on the rise, accessed May 27, 2016