Beware of New York Playground Amputation Injuries and Other Risks Warns NYC Playground Accident Lawyer
Few product recalls strike fear into parents’ hearts more than the one issued this past year concerning the defective playground slides that caused two children to suffer amputated fingers explains NYC playground accident lawyer Arkady Frekhtman of the F&A injury law firm. The Pennsylvania-based company Playworld Systems had to recall approximately 1,300 of their stainless-steel slides after at least 13 of them broke. This company had already seen this type of structural problem develop at least one other time in the past.
Since most children spend extra time playing during the summer months, it’s critical for all parents, daycare centers, city recreation departments and schools to make sure they’ve properly obeyed this crucial recall. The specific problem involves a weld made between the slide bedway and sidewall that can separate upon cracking. If a child’s fingers get caught in that space, they can get amputated. Playworld is offering to replace all such slides and install the replacements for free.
All playground owners and homeowners who may have bought slides from this company (between November 2000 and October of 2016) must check to see if they are covered by this recall. Hopefully, all the potentially defective slides have now been removed – or are scheduled to be removed — in the very near future. Most of these slides cost between $1,500 and $4,000. The company has offered to ship temporary barriers to those with these defective slides until the replacement models arrive.
Other Serious Playground Dangers That Caregivers Must Look Out For
- Improper surfaces. Children should always be discouraged from playing on swing sets and other equipment that sit on hard soil or rocky terrain. Always search for softer playground surfaces that are less likely to worsen a child’s injuries. The best surfaces usually include: rubber mulch, play sand, wood chips and mulch, engineered wood fiber, pea gravel, and natural grass. While child safety is the most important concern, playground owners must also factor in the maintenance costs of any surface they choose. Also, make sure all tree stumps, broken glass, and other threats are promptly removed;
- Old-fashioned see saws. When a child suddenly dismounts this device, the other child can suddenly slam to the ground, suffering serious spinal and tailbone injuries. While most of us recall safely using this playground equipment long ago, new federal guidelines and current safety concerns are putting an end to their usage;
- Any play structure providing insufficient guardrails. Although kids are usually averse to holding on to anything when trying to have fun, they do need to have the option of reaching out for a guardrail, especially if they’re about to fall — or have just been pushed or shoved by another child, causing them to lose their balance;
- Playground equipment that can result in head entrapment. Properly made structures should never offer small-sized openings that can result in a child getting his or her head trapped in it;
- Poorly maintained equipment. Whenever you see rusty swings, paint chipping off in large pieces off playground structures, there’s a strong chance the equipment is no longer in good working order. Always refrain from letting your kids play in areas where it’s clear that no one is regularly performing safety checks on the playground equipment;
- Sharp-edged equipment or structures. Slides are not the only threats. Many metal structures can grow rusty and have corners or edges that wear away and produce dangerous, pointed surfaces or rough edges.
Ways to Increase a Child’s Safety While Playing Outdoors on Equipment
- One or more adults should always be present supervising – focused entirely on the safe play of each child. Supervising adults must keep their cell phones turned off and resist the temptation to read a book or begin a lengthy visit with other adults. After all, it only takes a second for a child to fall and suffer a permanent, life-altering injury;
- Kids should avoid wearing loose clothing, hooded garments, and sandals. It’s far too easy for a small child to literally strangle when clothing ties get caught in playground equipment located high up in the air. Closed-toe shoes with rubber soles are always best for kids since they provide the best traction and keep toes covered and protected;
- Children should always play with others close to their own age. Older children tend to play extra rough, not always realizing when their tendency to push and shove more is putting younger children at serious risk for deadly injuries;
- Kids must be provided with adequate sunscreen. Also, be sure your children stay properly hydrated and occasionally rest in the shade for adequate time periods.
All schools, professional caregivers, and parents should take the time to carefully review the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s detailed pdf booklet addressing the most critical topics involving playground safety.
If your child has recently suffered serious injuries due to the negligence of others on a playground, be sure to immediately contact your New York City personal injury attorney. We’ll fully investigate the facts of your case and file a lawsuit to obtain any compensation owed for your child’s injuries.