Playground injuries on the rise - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Playground injuries on the rise

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More than 200,000 accidents on playgrounds happen each year. More than 200,000 accidents on playgrounds happen each year.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A new report is out about concussions and kids and this time, it’s on the playground.

The American Academy of Pediatrics found injuries and concussions are on the rise, and nearly one-third of injuries happen on school playgrounds. To give you perspective, more than 200,000 accidents on playgrounds happen each year.

The playground supervisors at Spokane Public Schools are there to try and make sure accidents don’t happen on their watch. It’s a job Dani Fay has a passion for.

“Every day is just different. They always bring something new to the table,” she says.

She is a playground supervisor, enforcing the rules like no running on the blacktop or one person down the slide at a time. She sees everything.

“Because I'm a mom and a grandma now, I guess I'm a little more leery of them getting hurt,” she says.

Spokane Public Schools does a formal inspection of playgrounds every year, Spokane Regional Health District does inspections too, and supervisors check it before recess everyday.

“We’re looking for anything on the playground that might be damaged, loose or bolts missing and make sure those will be replaced right away,” says John VanSant, safety specialist with SPS.

He says supervision is the key to safety.

“You can worry about the design and you can come in and do the inspections but you need to make sure and add in that component of supervision,” he says.

And that's why Dani is so important.

“We want to make sure that they're as safe as they can be out here,” she says.

Because supervision is so important, VanSant has some advice parents can use when they go to park playgrounds to make sure their kids are safe to use the equipment:

  • Make sure what your child is playing on is age appropriate.
  • Check the equipment for cracks or signs of vandalism.
  • Make sure all the bolts are in place.
  • Check the railings, slides, anything your child can climb on to make sure it’s sturdy.
  • Report any issues if you see them.

For the full report from the American Academy of Pediatrics: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/04/28/peds.2015-2721

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