Feature Article - January 2006
Find a printable version here

Play to Live, Live to Play

Playground development, from design to construction and beyond

By Kyle Ryan



  
Playground Safety Statistics

SOME INTERESTING NUMBERS:

  • About 45 percent of injuries involving public equipment occurred in schools.
  • About 31 percent of injuries involving public equipment occurred in public parks.
  • About 10 percent of injuries involving public equipment occurred in commercial childcare centers.
  • From January 1990 to August 2000, CPSC received reports of 147 deaths to children younger than 15 that involved playground equipment.
  • 70 percent of those deaths occurred in homes.
  • 30 percent of those deaths occurred in public use.
  • Girls were involved in a slightly higher percentage of injuries (55 percent) than were boys (45 percent).
  • Injuries to the head and face accounted for 49 percent of injuries to children 0-4, while injuries to the arm and hand accounted for 49 percent of injuries to children ages 5 to 14.
  • For children ages 0 to 4, climbers (40 percent) had the highest incidence rates, followed by slides (33 percent).
  • For children ages 5 to 14, climbing equipment (56 percent) had the highest incidence rates, followed by swings (24 percent).
  • Approximately 15 percent of the injuries were classified as severe, with 3 percent requiring hospitalization.
  • The most prevalent diagnoses were fractures (39 percent), lacerations (22 percent), contusions/abrasions (20 percent), strains/sprains (11 percent).
  • Falls to the surface was a contributing factor in 79 percent of all injuries. On home equipment, 81 percent were associated with falls.
  • Most injuries on public playground equipment were associated with climbing equipment (53 percent), swings (19 percent) and slides (17 percent).

Statistics courtesy of the National Program for Playground Safety