With warmer weather, trips to the parks and playgrounds in and around Los Angeles are becoming more frequent. However, parents must not overlook the dangers posed at these facilities. To underscore that, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that over 200,000 children up to age 14 are treated at hospitals nationwide each year for playground-related injuries. Over 20,000 of those children suffered traumatic brain injuries.
Owners of playgrounds and supervisors or managers who are present must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure the safety of children. The CPSC says falls cause eight in every 10 playground injuries. Parents could help prevent injuries by looking for potential hazards and reporting them.
Overcrowding can occur when the required clearance below and around the equipment is disregarded. Six feet of clearance is required in all directions, including areas below raised play equipment. In addition, nothing higher than 30 inches may be closer than nine feet apart, and double the height of the suspension bar of the swings must be clear of other equipment in front and back of the swings.
Dangerous ground surfaces
Exposed concrete, tree stumps and rocks are all materials that may not be present on ground surfaces. Instead, the surfaces must be covered in no less than 12 inches of mulch, pea or sand gravel, wood chips or rubber mats that were safety tested.
Other potential dangers include elevated platforms without barriers or guardrails. Also, equipment with sharp edges or points and openings between bars, rails, rungs, ropes and cargo nets that could entrap children’s heads or cause strangulation pose severe injury hazards.
When children in Los Angeles suffer playground injuries caused by negligent maintenance or unsafe construction of playground equipment, their parents might have grounds to file personal injury lawsuits. The owners and their representatives at the facilities could be named as defendants. If the injuries were caused by defective equipment, the equipment manufacturers might also be held accountable.