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Playground-Related Injuries Treated in the Emergency Department

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Jan. 2014

218,851 playground-related injuries are treated in an emergency department each year. This infographic breaks down playground-related injuries by hazard, diagnosis, equipment, and age and sex. Additional resources on playground safety can be found in the text below.

Click here for the print version of Infographic: Playground-Related Injuries Treated in the Emergency Department

Playground infographic

For more information about playground safety, visit:

Playground Safety resources from CPSC

Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition from the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC)

The National Program for Playground Safety from the University of Northern Iowa

Playground-Related Injuries Treated in the Emergency Department

218,851 playground-related injuries are treated in an emergency department each year (O’Brien, 2009)
15 children die every year from playground-related injuries (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2006)

Playground-related injuries by hazard, 2001-1008

Falls were the most common cause of injury (O’Brien, 2009)

Hazard

Percent

Fall (from, into, or onto the equipment)

44%

Equipment-related (including breakage, tip over, poor design, or assembly)

23%

Incidental (hazards around but not related to the equipment)

8%

Collision (with other children or the equipment)

7%

Entrapment

7%

Other

11%

The odds of being injured from a playground fall on an impact absorbing surface (bark chips, sand, rubber matting/tiles) are less than half than on a non-impact absorbing surface (grass, asphalt, concrete) (Chalmers et al., 1996)

Playground-related injuries by diagnosis: Top 5, 2001-1008

Fractures were the most common type of injury (O’Brien, 2009)

Diagnosis

Percent

Fractures

36%

Contusions and abrasions

20%

Lacerations

17%

Strains and sprains

12%

Internal organ injuries

5%

 

Playground-related injuries by equipment, 2001-1008

Monkey bars/playground gyms are the equipment most likely to cause injury (O’Brien, 2009)

Equipment type

Total injuries

Percent

Monkey bars or playground gyms

644932

36%

Swings or swing sets

504334

28%

Slides or sliding boards

366189

21%

Playground equipment, not specified

148111

8%

Other playground equipment

88034

5%

Seesaws or teeter totters

41094

2%

Playground-related injuries by age and sex, 2001-1008

Children ages 5-9 are the most likely to be injured (O’Brien, 2009)

Age

Male (total injuries)

Female (total injuries)

Total percent

0-4

254658

193246

25%

5-9

500700

447410

53%

10-11

145457

128261

15%

15+

54526

61226

7%

 

Sources

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2006). Playground Safety. Patient Education Online. Retrieved from http://patiented.aap.org/content2.aspx?aid=5689&refURL=

Chalmers, D. J., Marshall, S. W., Langley, J. D., Evans, M. J., Brunton, C. R., Kelly, a M., & Pickering, a F. (1996). Height and surfacing as risk factors for injury in falls from playground equipment: a case-control study. Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention, 2(2), 98–104. Retrieved from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1067669&tool=p...

O’Brien, C. W. (2009). Injuries and Investigated Deaths Associated with Playground Equipment, 2001-2008 (Vol. 280, p. 24). Bethesda, MD. doi:10.1111/febs.12425. Retrieved from: http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/108596/playground.pdf