A playground is every child’s paradise. They get to interact with other kids, while challenging their bodies and minds. Unfortunately, as much as the outdoors is fun, it also presents hidden risks that can result in slip-and-fall injuries.
In severe cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns parents that children are likely to suffer concussions when using monkey bars, swings and climbing equipment.
Thus, parents must be extra careful before releasing their children to explore in the playground.
What to look out for to keep children’s playtime safe
The ideal scenario is for parents to accompany their child in the playground themselves. When they have work or other duties, they must still ensure that adequate adult supervision is available to care for their children.
For both situations, parents or the attending adult they entrusted their children with must always check for the following:
- Age-appropriate equipment
- Guardrails or other blocking mechanisms against falls
- Loose objects or wet surfaces that can trip or slip
- Soft material on the ground, such as mulch, sand or wood chips
However, despite parents’ efforts, their children may still sustain catastrophic injuries due to someone’s negligence. When this happens, parents must check who owns the property.
It can be a public facility owned by the local municipality, a federally funded national park or private grounds under the school district. Whoever it is, they are responsible for maintaining the playground’s upkeep. After all, children come and go daily in playgrounds. Eventually, screws will rust. Ropes may deteriorate. Surfaces could accumulate hazardous elements.
Further, the manufacturers can also be partly to blame. They may have poorly designed or constructed the playground equipment, failing to meet safety standards.
How to protect the children’s chance to play again
Property owners or equipment designers will likely seek to reduce their fault per Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule. When they do, things can quickly become complex. Parents must gather clear and convincing proof to support their claim that the defendants owed their children a duty of care and failed to deliver, which led to tragic circumstances. However, proving this alone to recover compensation can be difficult. A legal advocate can level the playing field and secure the children’s future.