Monkey Bars and Swings Blamed for Rise in Playground Concussions

Monkey bars and swings have been much-loved features of children’s playgrounds for years but a new study finds they are the main culprits in an alarming rise in playground head injuries.

Recently, there has been increased focus on the seriousness of concussions and other head injuries due to the heightened scrutiny of the NFL and other sports leagues.  But new research suggests the dangers are not confined to the sports field.


Monkey bars are highlighted as a concussion danger

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of playground concussions has risen in recent years, according to the Virginian-Pilot. The article stated that half of the head injuries were in 5-9 year-olds, with the monkey bars and swings being the main culprits of the injuries. Also, head injuries were more common in boys rather than girls.

It is important for parents to realize the signs that a child may have a concussion. Typical symptoms of a concussion include headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and vomiting. Concussions and brain injuries can range from mild to severe, but all concussions are potentially serious and can have long-lasting side-effects.

The co-author of the study, Dr. Jeneita Bell – a brain injury specialist with the CDC – said that the results of the study show “that sports is not the only important cause of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries for children.”

NBC News reported that in 2005, 23 out of 100,000 kids were found to have suffered traumatic brain injuries at playgrounds, a rate that jumped to 48 out of 100,000 in 2013. Although the figures may suggest playgrounds are becoming more dangerous, they also indicate parents may be becoming more aware of the risks posed by concussions and the need to treat them.

As far as prevention of these potentially catastrophic injuries, the study states that adult supervision is paramount. Watching the children while they are at play and checking the equipment are two ways in which the number of falls could be decreased. Also, if a fall does happen, the research finds that softer substances on the ground – wood chips or sand – could minimize the force of the impact as opposed to concrete.

If a playground is inherently unsafe or there is a defect, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against a school, a local authority, a landowner or a manufacturer of play equipment.

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has a team of premises injury attorneys experienced in these types of claims. If you or someone you love has been injured due to the unsafe or hazardous condition of a premises, such as a playground, park, or other recreational area, please contact our Premises Injury team – Bill O’Mara and Griff O’Hanlon – at 757-455-0077 for a free, no obligation consultation.

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