March 26, 2012
According to the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), from 2001 to 2008, 218,851 children were taken to emergency rooms because of playground equipment injuries, half of which occurred on public playground equipment.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital says that it has seen a 30 percent increase in the number of children being treated for these types of injuries. For instance, two young children recently suffered serious leg injuries on a piece of playground equipment at Root Elementary School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. An article released by NWA Online stated that the children fell from the equipment, which is now scheduled to be removed and replaced. The children were taken to a local hospital and are expected to make full recoveries from their injuries.
Donna Parnell-Beasley, a spokesperson with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, says that most injuries are to the hands and heads of children and are normally the results of falls. Beasley added that “children typically don’t have critical thinking skills until they get older, so they don’t realize there’s danger involved in some of their activities.”
In order to prevent these types of accidents, state laws require school districts to inspect equipment monthly to ensure safety, but this is not always enough to keep a child safe.