Five tips to reduce the risk of playground injuries in New York

Recess is supposed to be fun, but sometimes it can result in injury. Here are some tips to avoid a serious playground accident.

Recess is an important part of the school day. This free time allows children to get out some extra energy so that they can have renewed focus when returning to the classroom. Although this break is generally a highlight of the students' day, it does pose risks. New York's Department of Health reports that in New York alone there are over 16 children every single day that report suffers an injury on the playground so severe that it requires medical attention.

The most common cause of injury: falls. Falls from playground equipment can result in serious head and neck trauma. The risk of these injuries can be reduced with these steps:

  • Supervision. This is arguably the most important safety step. Adults should be present on the playground to enforce safety rules and help ensure children are not putting themselves at unnecessary risk of harm.
  • Age appropriate equipment. Equipment is designed for various ages. It is important to make sure that children are playing on structures that are appropriate for their growth and development.
  • Ground cover. The area underneath the playground should be covered with soft material. Examples include pea gravel, shredded rubber or sand. Ideally the substrate should be approximately 12 inches thick and extend 6 feet in all directions from the equipment. Grass and dirt are not acceptable alternatives.
  • Railings. Any elevated surfaces should have railings. This includes platforms and ramps.
  • Inspection. It is also wise to have someone look over the equipment on a regular basis. Someone should make sure the structures are free of rust and should check the swings to make sure they are properly attached, that the slides are tightly connected and that there are no broken pieces of equipment.

In the event that a child becomes injured, the parents are wise to seek legal counsel. New York has a number of laws that will impact a claim against the school or other responsible party. One to note is referred to as the statute of limitations. This law basically puts a time limit on when an injured party can move forward with a claim. If the victim waits too long, his or her ability to hold the responsible party accountable in court lapses. The victim will not be able to make a claim.

Avoid this situation by seeking the counsel of an experienced school injury lawyer. This legal professional will discuss your options and guide you through the process, working to better ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to cover the costs connected to the injury.