Are Your Kids Safe On the Playground?

CBC News recently reported the death of a young Nunavut girl in a tragic playground accident. Police say her clothing got caught on a bungee cord hook that was hanging off some equipment, but she was unable to free herself.

While the death was ruled accidental, it’s a painful reminder to always do safety checks on playgrounds near your home and your child’s school. The Centre for Disease Control says that each year over 200,000 children under age 14 are treated in the emergency room for playground related injuries. Of those, nearly half are severe fractures, internal injuries, concussions, or amputations and three out of four happen on public playgrounds. Approximately 15 children die every year from playground injuries, over half from strangulation.

At home, swings are the leading injury causers, while climbing apparatus is more dangerous to kids in public playgrounds. SafeKids Canada offers these tips to helping protect your children:

  • Remove strangulation hazards: this includes helmets, scarves, or skipping ropes
  • Closely supervise children under age 5: they are less likely to take harmful risks if a parent or guardian is close by
  • Match the playground to the child: make sure the equipment is age appropriate and has an adequate surface

The Canadian Standards Association has regulations for playground equipment, but not all playgrounds are up-to-date. Wherever your kids play, be alert and help protect them.

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Michael Slater, K.C.
Michael Slater, K.C.
Michael Slater K.C. is the founding partner of Slater Vecchio. The majority of his practice is confined to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury cases.