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Children can suffer brain injuries in unmaintained playgrounds

Hospital injury data in Canada show that approximately 28,500 children are treated for injuries suffered in playgrounds every year, including in Ontario. The injuries range from bruises and bone fractures to spinal cord injuries and serious head trauma. The researchers report that the rate of traumatic brain injuries that are treated in emergency departments annually has shown a significant increase between 2005 and 2013. An Emergency physician in Toronto at the Hospital for Sick Children says TBI is a public health burden.

However, she recognizes that improved safety standards at playgrounds have caused injuries to be less severe. Suggestions by the researchers for further safety improvements included improved levels of adult supervision. This is not meant to inhibit the children or prevent them from having normal fun and playtime necessary for healthy development; instead, it is to ensure immediate action can be taken if a child should be injured.

Equipment maintenance must also receive more attention, and parents should report any surfaces that appear worn or dangerous and request repairs to be done. Research indicates that swings, gyms and monkey bars in playgrounds have proven to be the equipment most often associated with children suffering TBI. The physician recommended parents familiarize themselves with the physical symptoms of concussions to ensure prompt medical attention.

Children complaining of headaches, dizziness and nausea after a visit to a playground must be closely watched, as these are tell-tale signs of a concussion. Sleep issues and a foggy feeling in the head are also some of many symptoms for which to keep a lookout. Ontario parents whose children have suffered brain injuries as the result of negligent maintenance of playgrounds may have grounds for personal injury lawsuits. If they have questions about this, they can consult with a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with brain injury lawsuits.

Source: CBC News Health, "Concussions, brain injuries from playground mishaps on the rise", Accessed on Sept. 1, 2017

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