More Than 200,000 Kids Treated in ERs Each Year for Playground-Related Injuries
As temperatures rise, more kids will be on the
playground. The nation’s emergency physicians want all of them to have
fun, but also to stay safe.
“Many playground injuries can be avoided if parents are
mindful about the risks and teach children to obey safety rules,” said Rebecca
Parker, MD, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
“We encourage children to get outside and play to promote a healthier
lifestyle, but we want to make sure our children are as safe as possible.”
Every year, emergency physicians see more than 200,000
children with playground-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). These injuries are diverse, from head
injuries, to fractures, internal bleeding and others. More than 20,000 of these
children are treated for traumatic brain injury, including concussion.
Facts about Playground Injuries:
- More than half of playground-related injuries are fractures,
contusions and/or abrasions.
- About 75 percent of nonfatal injuries involving playground
equipment occur on public playgrounds, most of which are at schools and daycare
- The overall rate of emergency visits for playground-related
traumatic brain injury has increased significantly in recent years, according
to the CDC.
Ways to Prevent Playground Injuries:
- Closely supervise any young child on a playground.
Older children also need adult supervision.
- Make sure the playground facility is properly
maintained. Are there broken pieces of equipment? Is there trash or
broken bottles nearby that can cause injury? Does the playground have
adequate cushioning to prevent injury?
- Children should never crowd the playground. If you
cannot safely monitor a child because too many children are using the
equipment, choose another time to play.
- Make sure the playground equipment is age appropriate.
Younger children get injured playing on equipment that is meant for older
- Older children should stay away from playground equipment
reserved for younger children to avoid injuring those who are physically
smaller. Areas for preschool children should be separate from the areas
of school-age children.
- Children should not wear hoods or clothing with strings on a
playground. These can block the child’s peripheral vision and also create
- Teach your child to follow safety rules. Children
should not run, push or shove others while on a playground. They also
should not walk in the path of a moving swing or climb a slide instead of using