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Head injuries from playground accidents rising

According to a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many children are being treated for concussions sustained as a result of playground injuries. In 2013, more than 29,000 children visited emergency rooms to be treated for serious head injuries including concussions. In 2001, the number was 18,000. Researchers said the steep rise began in 2009.

While safety on playgrounds has improved, experts say there is clearly still work to be done. It is also believed that the numbers may be rising due to increased awareness of how dangerous head injuries may be. Over half of the children treated in emergency rooms during the period studied were ages 6 to 9, and almost 60 percent of the injured children were boys.

Experts say that in addition to improving safety equipment, parental supervision is also critical in maintaining safety. Parents should also recognize that some equipment may be more dangerous and should inform their children. For example, children might be more likely to be injured on the monkey bars. Experts said that if children could not be kept from climbing the monkey bars, they should at least be discouraged from hanging upside down from them because it increases the likelihood that they will fall on their heads.

When children are injured in accidents like these, the playground or the manufacturer of the equipment might be liable, depending upon the circumstances. A head injury can be devastating, and medical expenses and caregiving costs might be significant. A parent whose child has been injured in such an incident may want to have an attorney conduct an investigation in order to pinpoint the party or parties that should bear responsibility.

Source: CBS News, "Playground-Related Brain Injuries on the Rise," Kathleen Doheny, May 2, 2016

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