Playground equipment injuries at home more severe: study

Montreal – Although 84 percent of playground equipment injuries among children occur in public settings, the most severe injuries occur at home, according to a new study from the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Researchers studied Canadian emergency-based surveillance data for children 3 to 11 years old between 1995 and 2008. They compared the frequency and severity of 40,000 playground injuries that occurred either at home or on public playgrounds. Falling off slides, jungle gyms or swing sets at home posed the greatest risk factor for severe injuries and fractures, especially to the legs, researchers found.

They suggested that the lack of properly installed ground padding at home increases the severity of injuries, citing data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that found only 10 percent of at-home playgrounds had proper padding, compared with 80 percent for public playgrounds.

The study was published online in the February issue of Injury Prevention.

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