Playground Injuries

Richard McKinney Law 

Protecting the Children of Seattle, Washington from Playground Injuries 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 200,000 children suffer from playground injuries. 45% of these injuries are very severe and include fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations. Almost ¾ of all playground injuries occur in public playgrounds, while ¼ occur in private playgrounds. Private playgrounds also include children’s play areas in shopping malls, and fast food stores.   While children under age 14 are at risk, children ages 5 to 9 are particularly vulnerable, and are the ones who often end up in the emergency room for their injuries.

In public parks, more children experience injuries from falls, while on home playground equipment, swings cause the greatest number of injuries. Unfortunately, the public isn’t always equally protected. The CDC claims that children in low-income areas are more susceptible to playground injuries than children living in higher-income areas. There seems to be a disparity in the city’s willingness to properly maintain equipment and surfaces in lower income areas. Lower income areas were found to have more rusty equipment, poorly-maintained fall surfaces, and greater reports of trash (which could include broken glass). If your child has been injured on playground equipment, it is essential that you understand your rights. Catastrophic injuries as a result of falls or faulty equipment can be life-altering, costly, and tragic. McKinney law believes in protecting the children of Seattle, Washington from children’s playground accidents that could have easily been prevented with proper maintenance and care from either the city or from private individuals.

Keeping Your Child Safe on Playground Equipment 

One of the primary ways children can be protected when playing in a playground is from careful and attentive adult supervision. Adults can ensure that children are safe and cautious when using playground equipment. Proper supervision can prevent strangulation, as adults can see if children’s clothing is loose and can become caught on playground equipment. Private daycares and childcare centers often provide playground equipment on their sites. For many parents, this is an asset, as it affords opportunities for their children to stay active and have fun while being cared for. Unfortunately, not all private daycare centers or childcare centers offer proper adult supervision of children when they are using this equipment. The tragic consequences include broken bones, concussions, dislocations, strangulation, and other catastrophic and life-altering injuries.

Adults can also check playground equipment to ensure that it is safe. Check for rusted surfaces, proper soft fall areas, broken glass, and protruding nails. Fall areas should be soft enough to protect children from impacts. Wood chips, sand, or shredded rubber are all acceptable fall surfaces. However, some wood chips contain chromated copper arsenate. These wood chips should never be used, as they are toxic. Parents or guardians should be extra cautious around heights of greater than twelve feet. Falls from these heights will not be protected by any fall surface. It is also important to remember that children can suffer fatal falls, even from heights as low as six feet. Proper supervision and caution should be used when playing on any elevated surface.

Another way children can be kept safe is by ensuring that there is proper equipment for both older and younger children. Companies which own playgrounds should take precautions to assure that younger children are not allowed to play on equipment designed for older children. Swings should be properly spaced apart to ensure that children do not get hit. If necessary, children should be taught and supervised so that they properly use equipment. Private daycares and childcare centers should require children to abide by safety rules. Some rules can include: no roughhousing near equipment, watch before you jump, leave toys and other objects outside the play area, always check metal surfaces before touching (as hot surfaces can cause burns), no clothes with drawstrings or cords, or loose clothing. Parents, guardians, and daycare workers should also ensure that playground equipment doesn’t become too crowded.


Playground supervisors can also visually inspect playground equipment to check for broken parts, splinters, or for fences and barriers that are broken or poorly maintained. Parents and guardians can check the sand and other surfaces to ensure that trash, glass, or other harmful waste isn’t present. Any irregularities or injuries should be immediately reported. Finally, climbing equipment often results in the highest rates of injuries. Children should be trained about how to properly fall from heights: bending knees to absorb impact force and landing on both feet. No child should attempt to climb even to six feet as falls from that height can be fatal.

Children’s playground accidents are easily preventable with proper care, supervision, and equipment. If any of these are lacking, however, the consequences can often be life altering, costly, and tragic. If your child has been injured in a children’s playground due to unsafe equipment, improper supervision, or due to improper maintenance, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. You need a personal injury lawyer who understands your children’s rights. McKinney Law handles cases involving injuries on playground equipment and can help you fight for your children.

Seeking Justice for the Children of Washington 

Medical bills following children’s playground accidents can be very costly. Rehabilitation, missed time at school, and long-term care are all realities the families of injured children face. Parents may even miss time on the job caring for injured children. McKinney Law is a firm that understands the challenges and heartache that follows any catastrophic or debilitating injury.  Look at Mike’s video testimonial on this website demonstrating that Dick McKinney got 20 times more for Mike’s son’s playground accident than the offer obtained by the previous lawyer who had the case for five years.  You deserve FULL justice if you child has been injured on a playground due to unsafe equipment or due to improper supervision. It is important that those held responsible be held accountable for their actions to ensure that other children do not suffer similar tragic injuries. Contact McKinney Law today to seek justice and protect the children of Seattle, Washington.