More Than 200,000 Kids
Treated in ERs Each Year for Playground-Related Injuries
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[June 28, 2017]
- As temperatures rise, more kids will be on the playground. The
nation’s emergency physicians want all of them to have fun, but also to
“Many playground injuries can be avoided if parents
are mindful about the risks and teach children to obey safety
rules,” said Rebecca Parker, MD, FACEP, president of the American
College of Emergency Physicians. “We encourage children to get
outside and play to promote a healthier lifestyle, but we want to
make sure our children are as safe as possible.”
Every year, emergency physicians see more than 200,000 children with
playground-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). These injuries are diverse, from head
injuries, to fractures, internal bleeding and others. More than
20,000 of these children are treated for traumatic brain injury,
Facts about Playground Injuries:
More than half of playground-related injuries are
fractures, contusions and/or abrasions.
About 75 percent of nonfatal injuries involving
playground equipment occur on public playgrounds, most of which
are at schools and daycare centers.
The overall rate of emergency visits for
playground-related traumatic brain injury has increased
significantly in recent years, according to the CDC.
Prevent Playground Injuries:
Closely supervise any young child on a
playground. Older children also need adult supervision.
Make sure the playground facility is properly
maintained. Are there broken pieces of equipment? Is there trash
or broken bottles nearby that can cause injury? Does the
playground have adequate cushioning to prevent injury?
Children should never crowd the playground. If
you cannot safely monitor a child because too many children are
using the equipment, choose another time to play.
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Make sure the playground equipment is age
appropriate. Younger children get injured playing on equipment
that is meant for older children.
Older children should stay away from playground
equipment reserved for younger children to avoid injuring those
who are physically smaller. Areas for preschool children should
be separate from the areas of school-age children.
Children should not wear hoods or clothing with
strings on a playground. These can block the child’s peripheral
vision and also create choking hazards.
Teach your child to follow safety rules. Children
should not run, push or shove others while on a playground. They
also should not walk in the path of a moving swing or climb a
slide instead of using the ladder.
the national medical specialty society representing emergency
medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through
continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered
in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as
well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government
Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by
military branches and other government agencies.
[AMERICAN COLLEGE OF EMERGENCY