Playground and swing set injuries account for account for over 200,000 serious child injuries a year. This number doesn’t represent the minor injuries, such as scrapes, bruises, and broken arms, only those that require calling an ambulance and assistance of the emergency department. Therefore, the actual number of child injuries from swing sets is far higher. According to statistics from the Center for Diseases Control (CDC), in addition to these grave injuries, children die each year while at play on swing sets, with 147 deaths in a 10-year period.
These deaths are tragic for the family and the local community, and parents can be left feeling helpless after the wrongful death of their child. Florida’s wrongful death action and rights afforded a minor’s family provide a proactive way to find closure for the loss.
How Are Children Killed and Seriously Injured on Playgrounds?
In Florida, deaths on park playground and personal swing sets are reported each year. These Florida child wrongful death accidents mostly result from strangulation and falling. Only in a very rare instance is a child seriously hurt or killed by impact with playground equipment.
Children in Florida are far more likely to sustain injuries on public playgrounds, such as those located at a local park or school. The CDC found that 75% of swing set injuries occurred on public equipment. But the inverse is true when it comes to death. Across the United States, nearly 70% of all child deaths on playgrounds occur on private property.
However, children are also fatally injured on playgrounds at childcare facilities, daycares, and schools. In fact, a leading cause of child injuries in daycares and schools are falling from playground equipment.
What Are the Risk Factors for Florida Children on Swing Sets?
Certain children are more prone to swing set injuries. Young girls are more likely to sustain injuries than young boys, while age plays a significant role in the equation. You might assume that younger children are those hurt on playgrounds and swing sets, but the truth is these children are hurt far less than children five and older.
Instead, children age five to nine are the age group most commonly injured on playgrounds. Knowing that 40% of all child playground injuries involve a lack of supervision, this statistic makes more sense. Parents and childcare providers closely supervise children under four, and this intensity of supervision prevents many injuries and deaths that may occur without parental involvement.
Outside the home, daycares and schools are responsible for providing supervision. In certain instances, Florida child wrongful death accidents on swing sets can be a result of poor training or negligence on the part of these institutions. It’s possible for parents to bring a wrongful death case in Florida on this basis.
Some situations that may indicate negligent or reckless supervision, and therefore a breach of a duty owed to these children are: failure to stop rough or dangerous behavior on or near the swing set; failure to monitor children on play equipment; introducing children to equipment that isn’t age appropriate; and failing to monitor children on swings.
Other Liability for Child Wrongful Death on Playgrounds
What other circumstances or negligence can impose liability for a child’s wrongful death on a swing set? Faulty playground equipment can come crashing down, cause children to fall, and even result in strangulation. In this instance, the manufacturer of the swing set could be liable for a child’s death or serious injuries.
However, more likely is that the property owner is fully or partly responsible for the child’s death. Property owners owe a duty of care to the individuals, including children, on their property. In some instances, property owners have a duty to maintain their property, including manmade additions like swing sets, even when the children are trespassing on the property. Failure to properly construct the swing set, delays in maintaining the equipment or failure to repair apparent or known damage to the swing set are all potential causes of liability.
Was your child seriously injured or killed on swing set equipment, it’s time to take action. To schedule an initial consultation with a child wrongful death lawyer in Florida, contact Aronfeld Trial Lawyers. Our Miami office is available by phone at 1-866-597-4529, locally at (305)-441-0440, by email [email protected], or via SKYPE.