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Preventing Injuries on the Playground

September 11, 1987|Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Every two minutes somewhere in the United States a child is injured on a playground and receives emergency hospital treatment, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Statistics show about 70% of all playground accidents result from falls to hard surfaces and can range from minor scrapes to death.

"If a child falls from only three inches, a headfirst fall onto concrete can be fatal," said James Donovan, president of a Milwaukee-based company that manufactures protective playground surface. "If the play area is over grass, the surface can eventually become packed earth, posing the possibility of serious injuries from falls of only four feet or less."

The Safety Commission has compiled a list of dangers that parents should check for:

--Any visible cracks, bending, warping, rusting or breakage of any components.

--Worn swing hangers and chains.

--Deformation of open hooks, shackles, rings, links, etc.

--Exposed ends of tubing that should be covered by plugs or caps.

--Hard surfaces, especially under swings, slides, etc.

--Possible areas for head entrapment.

--Lack of lubrication on moving parts.

--Shearing actions in moving mechanisms.

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