Local News

A Swinging Time at the Playground May Not Be Safe

Posted April 13, 1998

— Tis the season for outdoor fun. Playgrounds are crawling with kids. But are your children playing it safe?

Last year, playground-related injuries sent 200,000 children to the emergency room. Swingset accidents made for the most injuries, followed by monkeybars and slides. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says many old playgrounds don't meet safety standards.

One park supervisor says if you want your kids to have a safe and good time, stay and watch them. According to the Wake Medical Center children's emergency room staff, this is the time of the year when they start to see more playground injuries. While the playgrounds are a place for fun and exercise, they can also be pretty dangerous .

It's a picture perfect day for children to slide, swing or hang around on any playground. But while the weather doesn't always pose a threat to playground fun, parents still worry about the equipment.

"I just always look for chains that hold the swings and the platform," says an unidentified parent. "If they get up high to go down a slide, make sure there is an enclosure, so they can't fall backwards and fall off."

Parent Dena Franklin says when she was growing up, the slides had wooden rails, and at time splinters were a problem. Now that's no so much the case.

The playgrounds may have changed, but the dangers still exist. Each year, more than 200,000 children in America are injured on playgrounds, with 90% of those injuries being caused by falls. Nurse Kristen Nocera sees many of the cases.

To prevent those injuries, safety experts say you should teach your children the rules of safety. Tell them what they can and cannot do when they are playing. It is also very important to make sure they are properly supervised. It only takes an instant for an accident to happen.

Inspectors from the National Playground Safety Institute say most of the playgrounds that are more than six years old do not meet current safety standards. There are safety programs in place in the Triangle area that are designed to make the playgrounds safer.


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