How to Protect Your Children from Brain Injuries Sustained in Playground and Other Accidents

Young children tend to not only be exuberant in their play but also unaware of the dangers certain common childhood activities can present. Brain injuries sustained in falls on playgrounds, from bicycles, and from objects on which children climb all too frequently lead to emergency-room visits that might have been prevented. What can you do to reduce your child’s chances of receiving a playtime brain injury and who can be held responsible when your child’s injury is due to someone’s negligence or a defect in playground or other play equipment?

The answers to these questions vary with the circumstances of a particular case as well as the law applicable to a particular legal action. Child-injury attorney Jeff Killino and his highly skilled team of child-injury lawyers and paralegals have extensive experience with child-injury cases, including those arising out of brain injuries caused by playground and other accidents. If your child has sustained a brain injury in a playground or other accident and you suspect that the injury was caused by someone’s negligence or a defective product, contact our child-injury firm for more information about your legal rights and options.

Common Accidents Leading to Children’s Brain Injuries

child injury on playgroundAccording to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children are often hurt when falling from slides, swing sets, climbing equipment, and trampolines. Though falls can result in abrasions, bone fractures, and cuts, they can also cause concussions and serious brain injuries requiring medical treatment or even death. In October 2014, for example, an elementary-school child fell from a swing, hit her head, and died two days later from a traumatic brain injury sustained in the fall. In response to this and other similar tragedies, many schools have elected to remove swings from their playgrounds.

Swings are not the only play equipment responsible for children’s injuries and deaths, however. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported that an average of 218, 851 preschool and elementary school children required emergency care for injuries occurring on playground equipment between 2001 and 2008. Falls from play equipment (including swings) and equipment failure accounted for 67 percent of the injuries, many of which included head or neck trauma.

How can you tell if your child has suffered a concussion or other brain injury? And what should you do if you even suspect your child has received such an injury?

Concussions and Other Brain Injuries

Concussion, which is a form of brain injury, may occur when a child receives a blow to the head from falling or being hit on the head by an object. Concussion can also occur in the absence of such a blow. A fall on another part of the body from a swing set or other play equipment, for example, can cause a concussion if the fall is jolting enough to result in the bouncing of the child’s brain inside the inner walls of the skull.

If you suspect that your child suffers from concussion or brain injury of any severity, you are well-advised to consult your pediatrician for advice. The AAP recommends doing so in all cases in which a child has received anything more than a light bump on the head. In addition, if your child has fallen and exhibits symptoms of concussion or other brain injury without having sustained a blow to the head, medical help should still be sought. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, vomiting, concentration and memory problems, trouble with balancing, difficulty speaking coherently, and loss of consciousness for any period of time. Some symptoms may appear immediately after a child’s fall while others may be delayed for hours or even days.

Liability for Children’s Play-related Brain Injuries

Though some states give governmental entities such as cities and other municipalities immunity from liability for children’s injuries on playgrounds owned and operated by these entities, others do not. In addition, most states hold non-governmental owners and operators of playgrounds liable for children’s injuries and deaths caused by owners’ or operators’ negligence. Companies or individuals hired to inspect, maintain, and repair playground equipment may also be held liable for injuries and deaths caused by their negligence in performing these duties.

Children’s playground brain injuries may sometimes result from the negligent supervision of children by responsible playground personnel. If a child’s fall occurs when too many children are playing on equipment at one time, for example, a playground employee who was negligent is allowing such play may be found to have contributed to a child’s brain injury caused by a fall and be held liable for the child’s resulting damages. The playground owner or operator, as the negligent employee’s employer, may also be found liable for the child’s damages.

When defects in playground equipment are found to have caused children’s brain injuries or deaths, the designers, manufacturers, and others involved in the distribution of the defective equipment to the market may be held liable for the children’s brain injuries or deaths.

What Can You Do to Help Prevent Your Child’s Playground Brain Injury?

A parent’s own diligence can go a long way toward preventing a child’s play-related brain injury. Advice frequently given includes the following:

  • Do not allow your child to play on any equipment unless the surfaces underneath are made of sand, wood chips, or rubberized matting of a suitable depth, rather than concrete or asphalt.
  • Do not allow your child to ride on a swing with another child or to climb a slide before other children have already gone down.
  • Do not allow your child to use equipment that is designated for children of an older age.
  • Teach your child not to walk in front of or behind a swing when another child is on it, to leave a slide after reaching the bottom, to use a slide’s ladder to climb a slide, and to stay off equipment occupied by too many children or by children engaged in pushing and shoving.

Obtain Expert Assistance from Child-injury Attorney Jeffrey Killino

Child-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino works hard for children who have been injured or killed due to negligence or defective products. If your child has received a brain or other injury in this manner, attorney Killino can help you obtain justice from the responsible parties.