Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue
Every year, more than 200,000 children visit emergency rooms due to playground-related injuries. Of those injuries, the vast majority (79%) are fall-related and account for 90% of the most severe playground injuries, according to BrainLine. BrainLine is a national multimedia project offering information and resources about preventing, treating, and living with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).
TBI is one of numerous severe injuries, such as fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations and amputations that take place on playgrounds. Although 76% of all injuries occur on public playgrounds, 23% of injuries occur on home playground equipment.
Monkey bars and climbing equipment, responsible for 40% of playground injuries, are considered so dangerous that experts recommend removing the equipment from playground areas.
Sadly, children can experience severe injuries or even die playing on playgrounds. Each year, approximately eight children die from playground equipment. Falls and head injuries account for the majority of playground-related injuries and fatalities, but the primary cause (58%) is strangulation. Strangulation occurs when a child’s clothing or drawstrings are caught on the equipment. Although playground-related injuries are preventable, they still occur due to the lack of or improper supervision — a major contributor (45%) of playground-related injuries, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
National Playground Safety Week runs April 22-26. It is sponsored by the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS). This annual event is a reminder to parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, camp counselors, and others to focus on children’s outdoor play environments due to children being vulnerable to playground-related injuries and fatalities.
Prince William County Fire & Rescue System Acting Chief Tim Keen urges the public to get involved at home, school and your neighborhood to help reduce unintentional injuries among children.