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Children's Health

Playground Safety

PlaygroundEach year more than 200,000 American children are treated in emergency rooms for playground injuries-the number of injured children who are not seen in hospital EDs is far greater. About 80% of all playground injuries result from falls to the playground surface. Inadequate adult supervision and age inappropriateness are contributing factors in the majority of playground injuries. For example, preschoolers playing on equipment designed for older kids may be at increased risk of injury because of the height of equipment and the spacing of steps and railings; additionally, most young children lack the coordination necessary to use equipment like climbers and monkey bars, which are intended for older children. About 3/4 of playground injuries requiring emergency treatment occur on public playgrounds, where climbers are responsible for the majority of injuries. The remaining 1/4 of playground injuries occur on home playgrounds, where swings are responsible for the greatest number of injuries.

Ensuring adequate adult supervision and keeping equipment and surfacing well maintained are keys to preventing playground injuries. To keep kids safe on playgrounds at home, schools or public parks:

Adapted from Information prepared by the Rainbow Community Safety & Resource Center, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital

Source: Playground Safety - Kid's Health.org

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Last Reviewed: Mar 24, 2013