Daycare and Playground Accidents
According to the Center of Disease Control, every year there are more than 200,000 playground related injuries in children ages 14 and younger. Out of those, nearly 15 die every single year. Do not let your child become this statistic.
My Florida personal injury law firm represents children who have had accidents at school playgrounds, parks, daycare centers, and community activity centers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has created a handbook that outlines the guideline for operating and maintaining playgrounds. Sometimes minor modifications to the structure of playground can cause or prevent an accident. We believe that it is essential that parents are educated on playgrounds safety and recommend the following.
1.Ensure that the surfacing of the playground is shock absorbing. Grass, dirt, concrete, asphalt, and wood are all not considered safe for absorption of impact following falls; particularly in the case of serious head injury, which accounts for 75% of all fall related deaths in playground injuries.
2.Playgrounds should be closely reviewed to remove and prevent tripping hazards. Defined as a sudden change in elevation, the two most common cause of tripping are devices used to anchoring playground equipment and containment walls for loose-fill surfacing materials. These two hazards should be made of concrete or horizontal bars with contrasting color and high visibility, with changes in elevation being obvious.
Most playground accidents occur at daycare centers. If your child attends a childcare facility, confirm that the facility has a valid license and its outdoor play area square footage is qualified for the number of children housed. According to Section §402.305 of the Florida Statues, illustrates that (6a) a minimum of 45 square feet of useable outdoor play area must be available for each child in any group using the play area at one time. A minimum play area shall be provided for one half of the licensed capacity.
Section §402.305 (6b) also states that the centers should provide facilities and equipment conducive to the physical activities appropriate for the age and the physical development of the child. The Consumer Product Safety Commission outlines that child development stages are markedly varied in physical size and ability as well as intellectual and social skills. Therefore, age appropriate playground designs should be tailored to these differences in terms of type, scale and layout of equipment.
Additionally, childcare professions should be well trained in order to effectively react to any kind of injury, and in particular trauma related fall injury from playgrounds. As a personal injury lawyer, I suggest that you check to see documentation of the childcare facilities compliance with §402.305 (7a), standards for sanitary and safety conditions, first aid treatment, emergency procedures, and at least one staff person trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (as evidence by current documentation of course completion).
The outdoor play area should also adhere to the following expectations from the Florida Administration Code r 65C-22.002(4) that the outdoor play area shall be clear and free from litter, nails, glass and other hazards (with proper shade and personnel supervision). The play area should be safely fenced in accordance with local ordinances to protect children from water hazards and from exciting the outdoor play area. Most importantly, (9) outlines that
1.A child care facility shall provide and maintain equipment and play activities suitable to each child’s age and development.
2.All playground equipment shall be securely anchored unless portable or stationary by design, in good repair, maintained in safe condition, and placed to ensure safe usage by children. Maintenance shall include inspections at least every other month, of all supports above and below the ground, and all connectors and moving parts. Documentation of maintenance inspections shall be retained for one year.
3.Permanent or stationary playground equipment must have a ground cover or other protective surface under the equipment that provides resilience and is maintained to reduce the incidence of injuries to children in the event of falls.
4.All equipment, fences and objects on the facilities’ premises shall be free from sharp, broken and jagged edges, and properly placed to prevent overcrowding or safety hazards in any one area.
5.All equipment used in the outdoor play area shall be constructed and maintained to allow for water drainage must be maintained in a safe and sanity condition.
As a father, I understand the worry and stress that comes with being a parent; but as a Miami personal injury lawyer, I focus on securing the appropriate compensation for child who has had a serious daycare center injury.
We strive to hold responsible those who misrepresent or violate the Florida State Statutes resulting in bodily harm on our children. If you believe that your child has been injured at a childcare facility or playground please contact our law firm for a free initial legal consultation.