Playgrounds serve as a central hub for communities, yet playground-related injuries remain a concern among parents, educators and health care providers. More than 200,000 playground-related injuries are treated in the U.S. emergency departments annually among children 18 years and younger.1 The leading causes of playground injuries are falls, impact/strike, cut/pinch/crush, entrapment/entanglement, and trip/slip. Playground-related injuries commonly treated in the emergency department are fractures, contusions/abrasions, and lacerations. Research also has raised concern of an increase in playground-related traumatic brain injuries and has shown that contemporary playgrounds can expose children to unsafe environmental conditions.2
This webinar brought together three experts from various disciplines, Eric Kennedy of Bucknell University, Heather Olsen of the National Program for Playground Safety, and Jennifer Vanos of Arizona State University to discuss promising tools and actions for S.A.F.E. TM playgrounds. Rhonda Siegel, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, moderated this webinar.
1 Vollman, D., Witsaman, R., Comstock, R. D., & Smith, G. A. (2009). Epidemiology of playground equipment-related injuries to children in the United States, 1996-2005. Clinical Pediatrics, 48(1), 66-71.
2 Cheng, T. A., Bell, J. M., Haileyesus, T., Gilchrist, J., Sugerman, D. E., & Coronado, V. G. (2016). Nonfatal playground-related traumatic brain injuries among children, 2001-2013. Pediatrics, 137(6), e20152721.