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Children Dangers, Playground Danger, Playground Safety We Cannot Overlook

By Newport Beach Personal Injury Attorney on March 24, 2010

Dangers to children often exist because of serious playground dangers and deficiencies resulting from a failure to follow playground safety standards. Indoor play areas at fast food restaurants fair worse in some instances, but are a magnet for children. In California, these playgrounds have become dangerous for families.

In August 2005, Jacob Buckett and his family went to local Burger King in Southern California. After just moments of climbing on the play structure, Jacob lost his balance and fell onto the tile floor below, head first.
Jacob suffered a traumatic head injury and was in a coma for two months. After a sixth month’s stay in the hospital, he never fully recovered. Jacob now needs care for the rest of his life and has permanent brain damage. Additionally, he has partial paralysis and cognitive problems. He will need 24/7 care for the rest of his life.

Recently Burger King settled with the Burkett family for 20 million dollars for the lifelong care Jacob will need, as well as emotional trauma for the family who witnessed the accident. Burkett’s attorney proved that Burger King knew of the climbing dangers and did not have floor padding and safety nets under the structure.
In earlier discovery it was discovered that another serious accident had happened in that location. In fact nearly four years after the accident, the restaurant still has not fixed the issue.

The main poiint; are the parents or the restaurant responsible for children’s safety while at an indoor play area? Each restaurant chain is responsible for self-policing its playground safety. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission does not have the staff to enforce these rules. Parents do need to monitor their children as well, but the restaurant must comply with safety regulations when maintaining and constructing these play areas to prevent avoidable injury.

Each year over 200,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for playground equipment related injuries. In California each year, approximately 1, 000 children are hospitalized due to playground injuries. Several reasons include poor surface material, swings too close together, head entrapment hazards and dangerous outdated equipment.

National Playground Safety Week 2010 is April 26-30, and it is sponsored by The National Program for Playground Safety, NPPS. This agency rates each state on their risk factors for playground safety. California has received a consistent grade of “B-“since 2000.

What can parents do to safeguard their children? Here are a few safety rules:

  • Check out local playgrounds before you bring your children to play. Nearly 70% of all injuries are due to falls. Ensure that the pay area has sufficient mats or cushioned surfaces.
  • Children should never wear bicycle helmets when playing on the equipment.
  • Parents should always check for hot surfaces on play equipment before e allowing children on it to prevent burns.
  • Check for loose clothing and clothing strings placed around the child’s neck, as these could be a choking hazard if the strings catch on to any equipment.
  • Make sure the play areas are age appropriate for the child playing. Preschoolers are developmentally different than elementary kids.

For a full safety checklist visit the CPSC’s website.

Playground child dangers and their safety are important in your community. If your child has been injured on a dangerous playground, we recommend you contact an attorney familiar with playground safety equipment and consult if the playground was in compliance with standards for your community. Compacted soil, loose equipment, exposed bolts, faulty slides, equipment poorly maintained, have caused great damage and injury to children in California that have used our firm. Your child deserves to be protected by the minimum standards set forth by the Federal and your State government. If you are a CAlifornia resident, call us for help at 1 888 752-7474.

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