Getting a scraped knee is often considered part of growing up, but when your child suffers an injury because of someone else’s negligence, that’s an entirely different matter. While it might seem that health and safety are a deterrent to your child having fun, the aim is to ensure that those responsible for the design, installation, and maintenance of playgrounds, take their responsibilities seriously.
In this guide, we consider the potential risks of the playground along with the steps that should be taken to ensure that your children have a safe environment in which to play.
What Are The Injuries that Children Can Suffer in a Playground?
If your child has an accident on a playground, then the most common injuries are cuts and bruises; however, more serious injuries can occur. These include –
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Sprains and strains
- Internal bleeding
- Head injuries, including concussions
- Neck and spinal injuries
- In extreme cases, death.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Playground Injuries?
The most common cause of playground injuries is falling from height. This usually happens when children climb on equipment that they’re not supposed to, or they fall off of slides and other pieces of equipment.
Other causes of playground injuries can include –
- Being hit by a piece of play equipment
- Colliding with another child while playing
- Tripping over on equipment or in the playground
- Falling off of monkey bars or climbing frames
- Getting tangled up in ropes or other materials
Not all risks can be avoided; however, some injuries from the playground happen because of the negligence of the body responsible for the equipment. These issues include –
- A poorly designed playground, which then fails to meet the required standards
- The failure to install safety measures alongside the playground equipment or that it’s gone missing and not been replaced.
- Damaged or faulty play equipment
- Other fitments such as gates and fences are poorly maintained or damaged.
- Failure to carry out safety inspections on a regular basis.
- The incorrect installation of the playground equipment.
- Failure to maintain or replace old equipment.
- Failure to remove or cordon off faulty equipment.
Can I Claim Compensation On Behalf of My Child?
If your child has been injured in a playground and you believe that someone else is to blame, then you might be able to make a claim for compensation on their behalf.
The amount of compensation that your child could receive will depend on the severity of their injuries and any long-term effects that the accident has had on their life.
Before a personal injury lawyer will agree to represent you in a claim for a playground accident, they will want to ensure that there is a good chance of compensation being paid.
So, to assess that, they will want to confirm that each of the following three requirements is met –
- The defendant breached their duty of care because they were negligent; and
- An accident in a public playground occurred as a result of that negligence; and
- Your child was injured in that accident.
What to Do If Your Child Suffers an Injury at the Playground
If your child suffers an injury while playing in the playground, then you should –
Take your child to see a doctor as soon as possible.
It is essential that you get medical attention for your child as soon as the accident happens. This is so that any injuries can be treated and so that you have a record of the injuries for when you make your claim. Also, be aware that injuries such as a concussion may not seem much of a big deal, but they can then have serious consequences if not treated promptly.
Take photographs of the accident scene.
If possible, take photographs of the playground equipment and where the accident happened. These will be useful when making your claim as they will provide evidence to support what happened.
Get witness statements from anyone who saw the accident.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, then it would be helpful to get their contact details and a statement from them about what they saw. This could be useful in proving your case.
Keep records of any expenses that you incur as a result of the accident.
If you have to pay for any medical treatment or take time off work to care for your child, then you should keep records of these expenses as you may be able to claim them back as part of your compensation.
Children’s playgrounds should provide a safe environment where your children can have fun and let off steam. While health and safety requirements may seem to be burdensome and even a deterrent to play, the aim is to ensure that those responsible for playground safety take that responsibility seriously. Finding cheap interactive play equipment that also meets safety standards is important.
All too often, playground accidents happen because of the negligence of those in charge, and, as a result, children are injured, for which there is no excuse.
I used to hang upside down over concrete on a metal jungle gym. I think some of the newer materials and protocols are great improvements over the situation I had as a child.