bernstein blog

Playground Safety
mbernstein
July 23, 2014 07:01AM EST

7.23.14-BernsteinBlog-Playground“It’s a beautiful day, turn off that TV and get outside.”

Your mother was right: It’s summer, enjoy the weather while you can.

As much as we would like to see the kids run and play in a nearby park, there is a potential for injury lurking there, and parents need to be aware that there are dangers that can be anticipated and avoided. It’s not just broken equipment that needs to be avoided; careful consideration has to be given to playground elements that still look new.

Though Michigan law requires schools and municipalities to maintain playground equipment to a safe standard, parents and caregivers should still be alert to possible hazards.

The first things to look at on a playground are the pieces of playground equipment themselves. Antiquated or poorly-maintained playscapes can present hazards in their…

  • Shear and crush points: Areas where moving parts move relative to each other.
  • Architectural projections: Securing bolts and planks of wood that extend beyond the structure itself.
  • Entrapment points: Where a child’s limbs or head can become caught between slats or steps.

If all of those points are acceptably safe—the seesaws are far enough apart that small hands can’t be caught between them, and exposed bolts don’t extend more than a few threads beyond their securing nuts—what is the condition of the construction materials used? Is the wood sealed and splinter-free? Are exposed metal parts rounded smooth or is there visible rust? What are the conditions of the tire swings? Can you see the steel belts? If you wouldn’t want it on your car, you definitely don’t want your kid inside it.

The actual grounds of the playground are important to examine too. Areas where children are expected to land (or conceivably could land such as in front of a slide or underneath a swing set) should have a bed of loose-fill material such as wood chips or impact mats to cushion hard landings. In areas where running is expected, are there visible tripping hazards like gopher holes or exposed roots?

A public playground, either municipal or on school grounds, has to be regularly inspected and those inspection reports can be examined upon request. But the inspection, even if rigorous, isn’t the same as the conditions on the ground. Before you send your kids off to play, take a walk around the playground with a critical eye. “Policing” the grounds, walking through the play area with both eyes on the ground before you, will yield a lot of information about not only the condition of the playground but also about who else is using it and for what. Cigarette butts near park benches is one thing, the same around the jungle gym is completely another.

For more information about playground safety and national standards, read more from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Video Library
  • They should be treated like we would treat one another, like family.
    How We Treat Our Clients
    YT-138556291610886.jpg YT-138556291610886.jpg
    They should be treated like we would treat one another, like family.
Disclaimer

The material in this website has been prepared by The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, PLLC, for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

Individuals should not act upon any information provided in this website, and should seek the advice of legal counsel licensed in their state.

The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, PLLC, only practices law within the states of Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, and New York. This website is directed solely to those persons seeking information regarding claims based on Michigan law.

No action related to the transmission, reading, distribution, or submission of information by, from, or to this website, or to The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, PLLC, via this website, will establish an attorney-client relationship with The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, PLLC. An attorney-client relationship with The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, PLLC, can only be created after consultation with our attorneys, and after you put your signature on our Client Representation Agreement. This website is not an offer to provide you with legal representation.

Please be advised that the attorney-client relationship would not protect your communications, until you and the law firm with which you wish to communicate have expressly agreed upon legal representation.

The information provided at this website is subject to change without notice. Although we try to keep this website current and accurate, the information provided at this website may or may not reflect the most current legal developments.

The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, PLLC, makes every effort to respond to Consultation Forms and other e-mail inquiries as promptly as possible. However, due to court appearances, depositions, trials, meetings and other absences from the office, we cannot guarantee that we will always be able to timely respond to your questions.

If you have a time-sensitive inquiry, please call us at 1-888-CALL-SAM or 1-888-225-5726.

The Law Firm does not consider a visitor to this site to be an individual that the Law Firm knows has sustained a personal injury as a direct result of a motor vehicle accident, or an immediate family member of an individual who has sustained a personal injury in a motor vehicle accident for purposes of the application of Section 410b of MCL 750.1 to 750.568).  Visitors utilize this website for many reasons unrelated to personal injuries sustained as a direct result of a motor vehicle accident.  A visit to this website or an electronic invitation to a visitor to this website to address questions related to a visit to this website does not represent a solicitation or offer to provide a service for a fee or other remuneration that is based upon the knowledge or belief that the individual has sustained a personal injury as a direct result of a motor vehicle accident and that is directed toward that individual or a family member.  For purposes of clarity, a visit to this website signifies the visitor’s consent to receive an electronic invitation inviting the visitor to communicate with the Law Firm regarding information contained on this site which may include a number of topics not related to a personal injury as a direct result of a motor vehicle accident. In the event a visitor engages in a live chat with a representative of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, PLLC, no attorney-client relationship is established until a Representation Agreement is signed by the client. 

logo

1-(888)-Call-Sam
1-(888)-225-5726