Playground accidents can be a source of worry for parents, as they can result in serious injuries or even death. In the United States, the indication is over 200,000 children require emergency room care each year due to playground-related injuries, with falls being the cause of nearly 80% of all injuries.
Playground injury studies and recent statistics from the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation suggest that between 7000 to 10,000 Kiwi kids end up injured due to playground accidents each year. A large portion of these injuries are not minor. They tend to be broken bones, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries that require hospitalisation.
There is a massive cost associated with playground injuries in New Zealand. The ACC pays out $45 million per year in claims and there are other hidden costs, such as ongoing disability, loss of income while caring for a child, kids missing out on school and sports activities, and families having to travel for hospital appointments.
Injury Statistics (USA)
Every year, playground-related injuries send over 200,000 children in the USA to the emergency room.
Sadly, 15 of these injured children die as a result of their injuries.
Falls account for almost 80% of all playground injuries, with 90% of the most severe ones being caused by falling from a significant height.
Asphyxiation is the cause of 58% of playground deaths.
Home equipment is responsible for 23% of playground injuries.
Public playgrounds and schools are the locations of 76% of playground injuries.
Male children comprise 62% of children killed on playground equipment.
Children between the ages of 10 and 14 experience 46% of all playground injuries.
Head and face injuries account for 49% of all injuries to children four years and younger.
While playgrounds offer a variety of equipment for children to play on, some of them are more dangerous than others. Metal slides, Swings, spinners, seesaws, jungle gyms, and monkey bars are some of the most common pieces of playground equipment that present inherent dangers. Children using this equipment should be supervised and guided on how to use them safely.
Most playground deaths are caused by entrapment (strangulation or asphyxiation), with indications of 56% of deaths resulting from these injuries. Children between the ages of five and nine are the most likely to be injured on playgrounds, with hand and arm injuries being the most common. Younger children under the age of four are at a higher risk of head and face injuries.
To prevent playground injuries, parents should inspect playground equipment for visible hazards, ensure that equipment is used properly, appropriate clothing is worn, and younger children are supervised at all times. Parents must also ensure that their children only play on age-appropriate equipment and under proper supervision. With proper precautions, playgrounds can be enjoyable and safe places for children and families to engage in physical activities while exercising their imagination.