Statewide, more children die of injuries than any other cause, according to the New York State Department of Health. Non-fatal injuries are a serious problem for kids in New York, too. In New York City, injury and poisonings are:
- The number one reason kids aged 5-14 are treated in emergency departments
- Among the top five reasons kids aged 0-4 are treated in emergency departments
- Among the top five reasons kids aged 5-14 are hospitalized
Certain types of injuries account disproportionately for emergency medical treatment and hospitalization. Accidental falls are:
- The number one injury bringing children aged 0-14 to emergency departments
- The number one cause of injury-related hospitalization in children from birth to age 14
Nearly 1,000 New York City children between the ages of 1 and 9 are hospitalized each year after accidental falls, and more than 35,000 in the same age group are treated in emergency rooms.
Where and How are NYC Children Injured?
Of course, a fall injury can occur anywhere. Children fall at home and while climbing trees in their own yards. They can as easily suffer a slip and fall injury on an icy sidewalk or a spilled soda in the grocery store as an adult. However, children also face special risks. For example, many childhood falls occur on playgrounds and in parks. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that most of the more than 200,000 kids who are taken to U.S. emergency rooms each year as a result of playground-equipment-related injuries were hurt in a fall.
Children between the ages of 5 and 14 are the most likely to fall on a playground, which should come as no surprise. Children in this age range are not only more likely to be interested in playground activities, but are also often shepherded out to the playground once or twice or even three times during the school day.
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Preventing Fall-Related Playground Injuries
The New York State Department of Health recommends these precautions to protect children from fall-related injuries on playgrounds:
- Children should not be left unattended when using playground equipment
- Areas under and around playground equipment should be covered or filled with soft material
- Equipment should be checked regularly for damage or war, and any hazards should be repaired as soon as possible
- Playground equipment should be placed with adequate spacing, so that a child falling from one piece of equipment is not in danger of striking another
- Young children should not be allowed to play on equipment designed for older children
- Children under the age of two should not be allowed to climb higher than 32 inches, and children ages two to five should not be allowed to climb higher than 60 inches
Of course, parents aren’t always present to supervise when their children are on a playground. Instead, you must rely on those charged with the care of your child, such as daycare providers, teachers, and school administrators. And, those caretakers and custodians don’t always live up to their responsibilities.
For example, in January a six-year-old Brooklyn boy came home from school with two broken arms. Though he appears to have sustained the injury on the playground after school, both the school and the after-school program the injured child attended have denied responsibility.
We Help Parents Fight for Injured Children
If your child has sustained a serious injury on a school or public playground, we want to help. A free consultation with an experienced playground injury lawyer can be the first step toward giving your child the resources he or she needs to heal.