Many Dangers Lurk on Georgia Playgrounds


April 08, 2011

Parents all over Georgia take their children to playgrounds in public parks so that their children can exercise and play. As children run and play, most parents never imagine the potential danger that can be posed by defective playground equipment that lacks adequate safeguard or is poorly designed.

Children frequently suffer injuries from unsafe playground equipment whether on Atlanta school playgrounds, neighbors’ backyards or public parks. Many times these are minor injuries that do not result in serious injury, but sometimes children suffer serious injuries including head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones and other significant injuries.

If your child has been injured in a playground equipment accident, your child may have a right to compensation for his or her injuries. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, represent children who suffer serious injury on playgrounds in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Our playground accident lawyers have been diligently representing those who suffer serious injuries caused by the negligence of others for over 27 years. We will carefully investigate playground accidents so that we can develop the best strategy to obtain the best possible outcome. Our Atlanta playground accident attorneys are committed to our goal of being known as the best personal injury lawyers in Georgia.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) puts out a Handbook for Public Playground Safety that contains playground safety standards. This publication recommends industry standards that can be used as a tool for the safe design, operation, and maintenance of playground equipment. Sadly, these standards are not always followed, which can lead to serious even catastrophic injuries. These standards can also be used in claims and litigation to help establish appropriate safety standards for playgrounds and playground equipment.

Hundreds of thousands of children a year are taken to emergency rooms as a result of injuries they suffer while playing on playground equipment. Almost three-quarters of these occur on public playgrounds and are caused by falls. Other injuries that children sustain while playing include getting their heads caught and stuck in playground equipment resulting in strangulation by some hanging apparatus.

In a recent nationwide investigation of playgrounds, the study revealed that almost 90 percent of playgrounds did not have adequate protective surfaces installed and more than 4 in every 10 playgrounds have head entrapment hazards, and a similar number have equipment that had parts that stuck out and could snag clothing. Equipment that results in snagged clothing often cause children to lose balance, resulting in dangerous falls. The appalling conclusions of this study found that over 40 percent of all playgrounds have significant safety issues.

Some of the most common causes of playground accidents include the following:

  • Playgrounds that are built poorly
  • Playgrounds that contain inadequately designed equipment
  • Playgrounds that are not properly maintained
  • Lack of sufficient adult supervision

The owner of playground equipment has the responsibility to maintain it properly to prevent an unreasonable risk of harm to the children who use the equipment. This obligation to maintain playground equipment in safe condition applies equally to private homeowners or public entities with a playground in a school or public park. A list put out by the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) highlights the most common playground dangers. Most of these hazards are related to problems with the design, construction, and maintenance of playgrounds.

  • Protective surfaces are inadequate. A soft surface of rubber or wood chips are some of the few things that will reduce the risk of injury in the event of a fall. Even with these surfaces, the material still needs to be about 4" thick.
  • Playground equipment often has protruding features and places where kids can get hung up or entangled.
  • Some playground apparatus is designed or constructed with openings that are large enough for a child to become entrapped. Children should not be able to get their heads through an opening in the equipment unless their whole body can fit through as well.
  • When small children are playing on playground equipment, adult supervision is important to prevent accidents.
  • Many playground accidents result from a lack of maintenance of the equipment.
  • Playground equipment often includes raised platforms without guardrails. The NPSI recommends 2-4' high guardrails be installed around all raised platforms.

Few experiences are as upsetting and stressful as the injury to one’s child. Given that playgrounds are the exclusive province of children, it is surprising that widespread safety issues are not remedied. If your child has been injured on a playground, a law firm with experience handling product liability and personal injury lawsuits can accurately evaluate your situation and advise you regarding your legal rights. The Atlanta playground accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are committed to providing the highest quality legal representation to our clients. We zealously pursue the best possible recovery for our injured clients.

The Georgia playground accident attorneys of Montlick and Associates are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.