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Safety Measures that Could Reduce Playground Injuries in Arkansas

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When a parent or guardian drops-off his or her child at a licensed child care facility in Arkansas, they expect their child to receive loving care by a dedicated team of childcare professionals. Parents undoubtedly expect the workers at these facilities to step into their place to protect their child from known risks and dangers that the child may encounter during the course of their activities. Our Arkansas premises liability attorneys have waited too long to weigh in on this important topic.

Unfortunately, childcare facilities don’t always live up to the parental expectations. In some facilities the care falls short of what a parent would reasonably expect. However, situations that can be even more heart-breaking are those where a well-meaning caregiver causes injury to the child due to their lack of training regarding proper safety procedures. Child care facilities have a responsibility and duty to ensure that its workers are fully trained in the risks present on a playground and the means of preventing injury. If your childcare facility has failed to protect your child from known risks, the personal injury lawyers of the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak can fight for you.

A Doctor Speaks out Regarding an Epidemic of sliding-board fractures

Parents and other caregivers often try to coax a hesitant t child to try something new by accompanying the child. In many situations the presence of a parent, baby-sitter, older child or other caregiver can give the reluctant child confidence. At the same time the caregiver feels better about the child taking a “risk” because the caregiver will be within reach of the child. However, this standard logic does not hold up when it comes to safety procedures for larger playground slides or spiral slides.

According to a study performed at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., 14 percent of all leg fractures to children were due to an adult or older child holding the younger child in his or her lap while sliding down a slide down a slide. Furthermore, the hospital’s injury data reflected that each and every sliding fracture or other catastrophic injury to a child under age 3 occurred when the child went down a slide while sitting in the lap of an adult or a larger child.

The reason this injury occurs, or the mechanism of injury, is because when a toddler or young child slides down a slide, the rubber soles of his or her shoes or sneakers can become wedged on the slide.  IF the child was sliding alone, his or her weight would be insufficient to carry him or her down the slide. However with the toddler in the lap of an adult or older child, the weight of the caregiver can cause a break in the tibia of the foot that becomes wedged on the slide.

Despite the fact that the risk of this type of injury is widely-known by those in the medical and childcare professions, signs warning childcare facility employees, parents, and other caregivers of this known risk are rarely present. Furthermore, signs instructing parents to remove a child’s shoes or to place a child approximately half-way down the slide as a safe alternative to sliding in a caregiver’s lap are rarely present. When a risk is not obvious and corrective measures are counter-intuitive, caregivers should be provided with information so that they can effectively protect the health and safety of a child.

What effects can a childhood sliding injury have?

While most tibia fractures due to a sliding injury can be treated with a cast set from the foot to slightly above the knee, the impact of a childhood sliding injury is rarely limited to the physical effects. Rather, the injured child often experiences an array of physical, emotional and mental effects from his or her traumatic injury. The child may become cagey or anxious around large slides and show a decreased willingness to test his or her physical limits.

According to one doctor who has campaigned to raise awareness regarding this mechanism of injury through a media campaign that includes Youtube videos, even the parents feel the effects of the injury. He states that, “The parents are always crushed that they broke their kid’s leg and are baffled as to why nobody ever told them this could happen.” In other instances one parent may be angry or grow to resent the other parent due to blaming the other for the child’s injury. In short, a sliding injury to a young child can cause an array of consequences. The child will face physical consequences while the both parent and child typically experience psychological impacts.

Put our personal injury experience to work for you in Arkansas

If your child has suffered a broken bone or another serious injury due to a negligent child care facility or a negligent caregiver, the Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer at the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak can fight for you. To schedule your free and confidential childhood injury consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.

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