Treatment of playground injuries in emergency rooms rising

Georgia parents may want to more closely supervise their children on playground equipment. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a study in the online journal Pediatrics that shows a significant rise in playground head injuries treated in emergency rooms. Researchers say one reason for the increase might be greater awareness about the dangers of these types of injuries.

According to the study, between the years of 2001 and 2013, the number of children treated in ERs grew, with the significant increase beginning in 2009. In 2001, approximately 18,000 children were treated while in 2013, the number was over 29,000. Boys were more likely than girls to sustain injuries, comprising almost 6 out of 10 of children treated, and more than half of the children treated were between the ages of 5 and 9.

While awareness of head injuries and concussions has focused on sports in the last few years, playgrounds have received less attention although there have been a number of safety improvements. Researchers say that parents should still inspect playgrounds, and while they should not discourage children from using them, they should try to keep them off some of the more dangerous equipment. Monkey bars might be particularly hazardous, and if children do climb on them, one researcher says they should not hang upside down.

A child might suffer long-term consequences from a playground brain injury. These could include health problems or learning disabilities. Parents whose children who have been injured on playgrounds may want to obtain the advice and counsel of an attorney when determining how to proceed. An attorney can conduct an investigation to see whether the injury was caused by a manufacturing defect in the equipment itself or whether the accident was attributable to negligent maintenance by the owner of the premises where the injury occurred.

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