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Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney Warns of Playground Concussion Dangers

Nov 18, 2016 - Personal Injury by

The potential long-term risk from concussion injuries from football and other sports is no longer news. The media has done an impressive job of reporting how concussions can lead to serious limitations later in life, particularly when victims return to play without permitting proper healing time.

Unfortunately, parents may not realize that concussion risks extend well beyond sports playing fields. A recent NBC article has alerted the public that playground concussions are on the rise. They report that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that accidents on playground monkey bars and swings are sending children to emergency rooms at an increasing rate with brain injuries.

Precautionary Measures Can Help Reduce the Risks of Playground Accidents

Few parents would send their children out to the homes of friends without knowing that the people and home are safe. Playgrounds may be designed for children, but parents need to perform due diligence to ensure that any facility is appropriate for their children. The following tips may not absolutely eliminate the chance of injury, but they can help reduce the risks:

  • Become familiar with each playground. Do not assume that all playgrounds are equal in terms of safety. Before allowing children to use a specific playground, parents need to check for safe conditions, such as soft surfaces and equipment in good repair.
  • Assess equipment based on the child’s age. The National Program for Playground Safety offers tips for assessing equipment based on the size and ability of children. Playgrounds can be important tools for child development, but parents need to evaluate the equipment and the general area based on their children’s individual needs.
  • Provide proper supervision. Even when parents cannot personally supervise their children, they need to entrust safety only to someone who is capable of helping prevent accidents — and responding appropriately when accidents do occur. As a general rule, a slightly-older sibling may not be the most effective choice.
  • Get medical attention. A minor bump on the head does not automatically require a visit to the emergency room. Still, since head injury symptoms can continue to increase in severity over an extended time period, parents need to err on the side of caution. A visit to the doctor can best confirm the significance of a particular head injury, and it ensures that parents know how to properly treat symptoms.

The Challenges of Identifying Playground Accident Liability

Accidental injuries are a natural part of childhood. Even well-designed playgrounds cannot absolutely prevent the accidents that might happen simply because children take risks that exceed their abilities. If any party’s negligence contributed to a child’s injuries, however, parents may have the right to pursue compensation for the expenses incurred due to an otherwise-avoidable accident.

Perhaps an adult entrusted to supervise the children might reasonably have prevented a fall from a swing if he or she was not focused on a phone. Or, maybe a fall from the monkey bars might have resulted in minor cuts or bruises if the surface beneath the equipment was soft, rather than concrete.

When in doubt, it costs nothing to seek advice from an experienced injury lawyer who understands the legal definition of negligence and has the resources to conduct the investigations needed to support a claim. In many cases, parents can avoid paying out of pocket for the care their children need and deserve.

Additional Resources:

TBI: Get the Facts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 22, 2016

Other Blog topics:

Alabama Brain Injuries: Growing Evidence of Concussion Risks, Birmingham Personal Injury Blog

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