Playworld Systems Inc. is recalling 1,300 defective slides used in school and municipal playgrounds after two children suffered finger amputations. According to an NBC Los Angeles news report, the stainless steel Lightning Slides were sold by independent distributors between November 2000 and October 2016. The welds on the slides can crack and separate causing a child’s finger to get caught in the space. The company said it is aware of 13 incidents of broken welds and has so far received two reports of children suffering fingertip amputations.
Consumers are advised to stop using these recalled slides, which were sold to parks, schools and municipalities for between $1,500 and $4,000. There are no identifying marks on the slides. But the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) describes them as both single and double bedways with welds on both sides attaching the slides to sidewalls. There are also photographs on the company’s website (playworld.com), which show what the slides look like.
Dangers in Playgrounds
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries each year nationwide. About 45 percent of playground injuries are severe such as fractures, concussions, dislocations, amputations and internal injuries. About 75 percent of nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds. A number of these injuries occur at schools and daycare centers as well.
Tips for Playground Safety
While it is difficult to know which equipment is defective, there are a few steps parents and caregivers can take to ensure safety in the playground:
- Provide supervision: Actively supervise children on playgrounds. Check playgrounds for hazards such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. Report any dangers to the school or appropriate office.
- Age-appropriate playground: Choose the right play area based on your child’s age. For example, for babies who are learning to walk, the play area should have a smooth and easy surface to walk on. Separate play areas should be available and maintained for children under 5.
- Playground materials: Avoid outdated playgrounds with non-impact absorbing surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt or gravel. Recommended surface materials include sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch and shredded rubber. Proper maintenance: Double check with your school or childcare center to ensure they maintain their playground equipment properly.
If your child has suffered a playground injury due to someone else’s negligence or due to defective playground equipment you may be able to file a claim seeking compensation for damages. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for more information.