Once upon a time playgrounds were fully equipped with all kinds of things on which children loved to play. Swings, teeter-totters, slides and monkey bars to name but a few of the wonderful playthings that dotted a childhood landscape. Many of these items were made with wood that didn’t have a particularly long life, and as they deteriorated, became hazardous to a child’s safety.
Witness the story of little Jamey Farmer, decked out in overalls and in the playground across the street from his home, having a good time on the wooden slides. His mom, Helen, was doing dishes at the time and kept a watchful eye out for Jamey. She went to answer the phone and moments later a pounding at her backdoor alerted her that something was terribly wrong. Jamey’s overall strap had caught on a protruding nail on the bars at the top of the slide, jerking him sideways so that he fell over the side. Jamey’s death was the result of hanging.
“Over time the materials in playground equipment has changed and become more modern and in theory safer. However, whether it’s safer or not largely depends on how the equipment has been constructed and maintained,” outlined Christopher Mellino, of the Mellino Law Firm LLC in Cleveland, Ohio.
In Jamey’s case the playground equipment had not been properly maintained. On examination, it had not been properly built either. “If a child suffers a playground related injury, the parents may have the right to sue for damages from the person or persons responsible for the accident happening. Speaking to a skilled personal injury attorney will provide the parents with various options, and advise them of their rights in circumstances like this,” added Mellino.
Unfortunately, every year there are over 200,000 kids under 15 years old that need emergency medical help for injuries they got on a playground. “While it’s a well-known fact that kids are rowdy when they play, and don’t pay attention to the “right” way to use the equipment, the equipment needs to be built according to certain specifications and meticulously maintained on a regular basis,” Mellino indicated. The wear and tear kids put on stuff like this is extensive.
The most common risk factors that personal injury attorneys tend to see every year include poor equipment maintenance; defective or just plain faulty equipment; poorly built equipment; tripping dangers; poorly chosen materials for a playground; and badly designed equipment with sharp edges. The older the playground and the materials used in the equipment, the higher the possibility of injuries to young kids who don’t have very good body control or the ability to understand how to play safely.
“The net result of a child meeting up with a piece of hazardous playground equipment is usually injuries that range from bumps and scrapes to serious life altering injuries or death, e.g., amputations, strangulation, broken bones, fractures, lacerations, bruises, traumatic brain injury, dislocations and internal injuries,” said Christopher Mellino, of the Mellino Law Firm LLC in Cleveland, Ohio.
If a child has suffered a severe injury as the result of the negligence of another or as the result of a defective product, speaking to a seasoned personal injury attorney will help in resolving the matter to the benefit of the injured child.