July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and that means it’s the ideal time to head out and enjoy all Mother Nature has to offer – and where better than your local parks? Established in 1985, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the special celebration of parks of all sizes. Before you head out to your local park, take a moment to review some safety tips and some facts about playground injuries courtesy of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
• Nearly half of all playground injuries are serious and include fractures, head injuries, strangulation (mostly from improper use of equipment), dislocated joints and amputations.
• Nearly 150 children die every year as a result of playground-related injuries.
• Climbing equipment like “jungle gyms” causes more accidents than any other type of public playground equipment.
• Prevent injuries by making sure the surface under playground equipment is soft, free of debris or hidden objects like pipes or concrete footings, and well-maintained.
• Make sure children – and adults – wear safety equipment for activities like skateboarding or skating.
• Teach children the proper way to use each piece of playground equipment.
• Carry – and use – plenty of sunscreen.
• Consider using insect repellent to keep mosquitoes and other biting pests at bay.
• If your park includes a lake, never swim alone, supervise your kids and consider taking swimming lessons before you or your child dives in.
• Know when to seek medical treatment. Broken bones or swollen joints may seem like obvious reasons for a trip to the emergency room, but even seemingly minor issues like a mild bump to the head can lead to serious and even life-threatening consequences.
Parks are always more fun when enjoyed with someone else. Make your park celebration a family event so you can provide supervision and watch out for obstacles that can cause injury in addition to joining in the fun and games.
Contact our D.C. personal injury attorneys for a free consultation about your options after a park related accident.
Pick up games at the park harbor their own secret hazards as well, as we discuss in this article: Basketball: Not as Safe as it Seems.