Playgrounds, Gyms, And Recreational Facilities Can Be Dangerous To Our Children

April 29, 2009
By Dan Irving Cytryn, Esq. on April 29, 2009 7:04 AM |

Hidden dangers are present all around while our children are busy playing. Florida law allows recovery for injuries due to negligence conditions that exist in recreation facilities, gyms, after-care facilities, and any activities whether organized or not. Coral Springs Florida is no different than the rest of the country.

I have the pleasure of coaching my nine year old child in a basketball recreational league (except for the fact that we lost our first six games until tonight, when we finally pulled out a victory in overtime--I was pulling my hair out--even my Rogaine was no longer helping me!). Since I've been coaching this year, there's a metal bench that the kids sit on, one side which is affixed to the ground, the other side which is loose, and if anyone sits on it they can fall off and suffer a head injury. Despite a couple months going by with this dangerous condition on a basketball court where children play virtually every day, nobody has bothered to repair this condition. I guess it's going to be up to me to send a certified letter to the City of Coral Springs to fix what is an obvious defective condition waiting for an injury to happen.

There are many other conditions in places where children play which are accidents waiting to happen. Playgrounds used to have monkeybars with gravel or concrete below them, an obvious and ridiculous hazard when a child falls off. Indoor basketball courts have walls that teenagers can run into, and unless protected by padding, present dangerous conditions for anybody who is playing the sport with intensity.

Florida law allows an injured person or child to recover for a dangerous condition that exists on any premises. The landowner or person in charge of the premises has a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. If the person in charge of the area does not make sure the property is not in a hazardous condition, then a claim, or a lawsuit is a viable alternative for a child or a person injured by a hazardous condition.

A new study claims that playground injuries are more dangerous to children than car accidents. The Brain Injury Resource Foundation states that playground injuries brought almost one million children to the emergency room in a particular six year period. A very important analysis of playground injuries is discussed in an article entitled "School Injuries--From the Playground to the Emergency Room".

If a child is seriously injured in an accident involving a child due to negligence, whether it occurs on the playground, in the gym, or at somebody's house, a lawyer should be consulted to ensure the best interest of the child and to protect the child and the family's rights.

UPDATE: July 31, 2009 -- As an indication of the persistent danger of injury and death posed by playgrounds, USA Today recently released an article which reiterated the risks faced by children.  According to the article, nearly 200,000 children are seen each year in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained while playing on playground equipment.  Of those, approximately 15 children die each year from their playground injuries and another 90,000 suffer serious injuries including broken bones, head injury, and amputation.  The article suggests that although playgrounds are safer than in decades past, children continue fall victim to playgrounds that are poorly designed or maintained and from other dangers such potential lead poisoning from recycled tires which are often used to cushion falls.

Dan Irving Cytryn is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer with 28 years experience handling all types of injury and accident cases, including handling claims and lawsuits for dangerous or defective conditions existing on premises, failure to properly supervise children, and other dangerous conditions involving hazards that cause injury to children of all ages.