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Posted by: OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers

When you entrust your child to the care of a daycare facility, you trust the staff will be diligent and keep them safe. However, there can be accidents, which are incredibly likely if your child is using a playground.

Playgrounds are a great way for children to exercise, socialize, and recreate. However, they can be dangerous and often lead to injuries. According to the National Institutes of Health, children aged five to nine have higher rates of emergency department visits for playground injuries than any other age group.

Nearly half of the injuries sustained on a playground are severe, and most public injuries occur at schools or daycare centers.

Getting Hurt on a Playground

Several injuries could happen on a playground, some minor and others extreme—and there could be multiple causes.

Types of Injuries on Playground Equipment

Keep an eye out for injuries like:

  • Broken bones
  • Bruises
  • Concussions
  • Crushed limbs or appendages
  • Cuts
  • Falls
  • Punctures
  • Strangulations

What Causes Injuries

While minor accidents may be expected during regular play times, some mishaps may occur because of negligent staff or improperly maintained equipment. There could also be a type of equipment meant for another age group than the one using it at the daycare, or some children aren’t using it for its intended purpose.

Even if you’re supposed to hang by your arms on monkey bars, some children may climb on top and walk across them. If the staff doesn’t keep an eye on children doing that, there’s a chance a younger, less-skilled child could attempt to mimic older kids. They could fall from a much greater height than if they tried to swing on the bars as intended.

Some playgrounds also have moving parts, and if a child isn’t careful or if the equipment isn’t well maintained or regulated, those parts could squish or pinch a child’s arms, hands, or feet. While pinching may seem inconsequential, it could lead to crushed or broken bones.

What to Do After Your Child Has Been Injured

Although it may seem grim to focus on injuries before they’ve happened, you’d do well to be prepared in case your child gets hurt while using the playground at the daycare center. The staff should be prepared to provide initial care, but you should be prepared for any emergency, especially if the staff is negligent or slow to act.

Initial Care

The daycare staff should be able to provide first aid for minor injuries. If your child scratched their leg or was cut on playground equipment, the staff should clean the wound and apply a bandage.

If the injury is severe enough, the staff will probably call for emergency services, and, depending on their policy, immediately inform you of your child’s condition.

You will not want to move your child for some injuries, like if they’ve injured their spine or neck. With less severe injuries, however, you’ll be able to transport them independently.

Take Your Child in For Treatment

Even if the staff has treated your child, you’ll want to ensure their health and safety with a trip to your pediatrician or emergency room. Children don’t always have the words to describe what happened or what’s hurting.

You’ll want a medical professional’s opinion to pinpoint why they’re hurting and how to care for them. Keep a record of the visit and any prescriptions or directives for possible lawsuits or insurance claims.

Should I Pursue Legal Action?

You may feel guilty considering a lawsuit against people you’ve trusted your child to, but if they’ve violated their duty of care and your child was injured, you are entitled to receive compensation for any medical costs incurred.

What Is Negligence?

Minnesota defines negligence as careless behavior that causes injury, harm, death, or property damage. It can be tricky to prove, but you’ll need to show there was a duty of care, that duty was breached, the defendant’s actions caused harm, how responsible the defendant was for the harm, and that there were damages or harm because of the defendant’s actions.

When is a Daycare Negligent?

When a daycare offers childcare, they agree to keep your child safe. There’s a reasonable expectation they’ll be in the same or better condition when you pick them up as when you dropped them off.

However, there are several ways the daycare could be negligent.

Negligent Supervision of Children

Children can get into trouble quickly if left unsupervised, especially if they’re curious. If a staff member is supposed to be watching them play on the equipment but doesn’t and your child is hurt as a result, they haven’t provided adequate supervision.

Factors like age and developmental maturity, activity, experience level, and overall environment must be met to ensure adequate supervision.

Negligent Hiring, Training, and Supervising Staff

They could be considered negligent if a daycare does not train their staff properly or perform a thorough background check. Minnesota law sets precise requirements for daycare employees. Supervisors should also ensure their charges are taking care of the children.

Negligence of Equipment

Like the staffing laws, daycare playgrounds must also meet state standards. If a facility hasn’t maintained a playground, they could face severe consequences if a child gets injured. For instance, if stairs are above a certain height, they must have a railing. If they don’t, children are likely to fall.

Proving Negligence

To prove a daycare was negligent when your child was hurt on their playground, you’ll need evidence of any harm to your child and that the staff wasn’t fulfilling their duty of care when the accident happened.

That evidence can include medical bills, statements by staff or other parents, video recordings from cameras on or near the premises with a clear view of the playground, and possibly statements from childcare experts.

Be sure to record your child’s injuries, from the first diagnosis through the stages of recovery. Keeping a record of any medical costs incurred because of the playground accident can give you a strong case for negligence cases.

Hiring an attorney can also give you a strong chance of recovering the compensation you and your child deserve after an accident on a daycare playground.

Call OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers

Proving a daycare was negligent when your child was hurt at their business can be difficult on your own. The OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers have the experience to bring you justice after your child is injured on a daycare’s playground. Their team will help you build and present your case.

Contact them today with their online form or call 888-828-7087.

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