Child safety: 7 of the most common accidents in school playgrounds

accidents in school playgrounds

 *This is a guest post

The playground should be a safe haven for children to enjoy, but that’s not always the case. In fact, playground managers have a huge responsibility to keep up the quality and safety of the recreational materials. This responsibility can be overlooked at times, which may lead to an injury in the blink of an eye. Because of the seriousness of some injuries, take a close look at the top seven common types to look out for on your next outing.

1. Cuts and Bruises

A child injured on school playground properties will often have cuts or bruises on their skin. These injuries are perhaps the most common and minor among the other types. Parents need to pull their child aside, clean the wound and dress it as necessary. Allowing the wound to remain open to the elements may further damage the area. The child might drip bodily fluids onto the playground equipment, which creates a hazardous situation for everyone. Cuts and bruises should be observed for several days after the injuries, however. It’s possible for the areas to become infected so diligent hygiene is critical to a successful recovery.

2. Head Injuries

An injury that can be easily overlooked involves the head. Children play on both plastic and metal materials at the playground. They might strike their heads on accident as they run and jump around. Many children simply keep on running to continue their fun. However, concussions may evolve shortly after the injury. Passing out, slow speech and other cognitive issues can occur. In fact, many legal, playground injury claims stem from a head injury. If you’re concerned about any head injury, take your child to the doctor. The professionals can run tests to determine if any permanent damage is part of the prognosis.

3. Dislocated Joints

A painful injury that requires immediate medical attention is dislocated joints. When a bone pops out of its cradled joint, the child will have pain and an unusual appearance to the area. Doctors must move the joint back into position and brace it for healing afterward. Jumping or hanging from a school jungle gym can result in these injuries. Parents might hold the school liable for student injury when it’s on their property. Be aware that park playgrounds are just as susceptible to these injury types too. Because children are young and flexible, they should heal relatively quickly.

4. Sprains and Strains

A sprain is an injury to the ligaments where they’re damaged from impact or twisting. In contrast, a strain is essentially a pulled muscle. Children running in their school playgrounds will often deal with these injuries because of too much aggression or failed equipment. A child injured at school who is responsible becomes the key dilemma. Your first course of action is to stabilize the injured area. A doctor must look at both sprains and strains so that they can be set or treated in a particular way.

5. Internal Damage

Parents may not know that their child has any internal damage until well after the injury date. Bruises that don’t heal or unusual pains in other areas may indicate internal bleeding or tissue damage. Doctors must verify these injuries because they can range from minor to major. Observation is your best tool to fight off any major, medical issues. Any unusual behavior or pains simply need to be taken seriously. If you have video of your child becoming injured in the first place, use that footage to determine if the unusual behavior is connected to that accident. It can help you with any liability in the meantime.

6. Strangulation

Nearly any playground equipment has the potential for strangulation. Ropes, pulleys and metal bars can all contribute to a choke hold. The playground must keep these areas free from any damage because strangulation can occur with a broken rope or metal section at any time. If parents see any issues at the field, they need to tell the playground management about the concerns. Strangulation leads to oxygen depletion and serious injuries.

7. Fractures

Legs and arms are the most common areas associated with fractures. A fracture is a break in the bone that may be complete or partial. Kids moving through a playground’s maze can easily fall or trip in the wrong direction, which causes fractures to develop in a second. Ideally, well-maintained playgrounds should have padded sections on sharp corners or metal poles. Without any safety equipment covering these areas, fractures become common. As parents, examine the playground for any neglected sections, and steer your children away from those hazards.

The law is vague when it comes to liability at the playground. It’s the parents’ jobs to keep an eye on their children as playtime continues. Roughhousing must be cut short, and parents need to be observant about possible hazards on slides and other locations. By the end of the playground adventure, every child should be safe from harm.

 About author: Riya is a writer who enjoys decorating her home, crafting, trying new recipes. She is also a runner who likes to enjoy the morning breeze. Her Twitter, @sanderriya.

Picture credit: © pexels


  1. I think playgrounds can be pretty dangerous when teachers are not observant. Many schools don’t have much in the way of actual park like toys as it means they need more staff policing them.

  2. A cautionary post! I’m mocked for how over-protective I am with the kids in playgrounds – especially on the swings.

    I saw a parent pushing his toddler in the swing so high that he actually ran under the swing and pushed it over his head. The swing swung upside down but the kids legs stopped him from falling out. It must have hurt. Stupid parent!

    Gave me nightmares.

  3. Not many schools have playground like equipment, but the ones who do (like some of the ones I’ve worked in) have a specific member of staff to keep an eye on the kids who are on there. The groups of children allowed on it are limited so it is manageable. Accidents can still certainly happen though, but they would be dealt with immediately and the parents should be contacted 🙂 x

  4. You know, I had a major accident when younger at school, I split my ear in two, by tripping over my laces, they never even called my parents, they waited until my dad collected us! It pays to be vigilant!

  5. You make playgrounds sound really scary. Kids naturally get bumps and bruises all the time. Kian fell off the monkey bars and broke his collar bone though as he landed awkwardly

  6. I think it’s only natural for kids to get bumps and bruises from falling down in playgrounds – my brother once tripped over a pedal of a tricycle and landed on his face, splitting his head open. Accidents can and will happen, and children are clumsy (as are adults) but being aware of the potential risks and trying to limit them is never a bad thing!

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