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improperly maintained playground leads to injury?


by LIVEFREE ::kb::

Question by Bunniculette: improperly maintained playground leads to injury?
i see a LOT of negative answers about personal injury suits on here, so before i get trashed here is the story. my son took a bad spill at the playground, which i accept is going to happen from time to time. he’s very active and, as a result, VERY resilient. i try not to hover, but stay close by to assist. i walk the fine line between trying not to stifle him and keeping him from killing himself. not an easy task.

he fell off one of the climbing platforms at the public park, face first and my first reaction to the instant bruising/swelling on his face was to take him directly to his pediatrician, maybe the hospital. however in the few minutes it took to gather his stuff up while he screamed, he stopped crying, let go of me and ran off to join some older boys headed to the swing area. the pediatrician gave me the info over the phone about watching for concussion and i brought him to my mother’s house for her to take a look too (since i was horrified and she’s the expert as far as i’m concerned, lol.) she seemed to think he was fine too, but was concerned as to how he could have hurt himself so badly.

i explained to her that when he fell, he landed on an exposed support pipe and she suggested i contact the parks department to make a complaint. this way it could be fixed and another child would not get, perhaps even more seriously hurt. it seemed reasonable, so i planned to go down to their office. the next day when my co-workers, who witnessed the whole thing (since we were having a play date) inquired about my son and i gave them the run down, thought the township should just be “happy” i “don’t sue” and a complaint was the very least i should do.

i’m not sue happy, the thought honestly never occurred to me. however i took a look online, out of curiosity about playground regulations. apparently fall areas, beneath designated climbing equipment are supposed to be layered with a minimum of nine to twelve inches of cushioning (cedar chips, rubber, whatever.) reading this made me pretty mad, on top of being upset about the poor little guy’s suffering, my feeling like crap and questioning my mothering approach. besides the fact that it was pretty embarrassing going out in public with a child who looks like they lost a heavy weight match. obviously i know kids fall when they are playing, they will get hurt and you do your best to monitor them so they don’t get hurt too badly. i was really surprised, upset and angry that this injury didn’t have to be so severe had the playground met the safety standards. accidents happen but i would like to think that every measure possible to minimize the severity of them would be taken.

now that the bruising & swelling is gone and the cut has healed, he has a nice big scar curling around his eye. i’ve noticed that when he smiles or laughs there is a DENT in his face beneath the scar (which you couldn’t see when it was swollen) and have scheduled him an appt for monday to see the doctor and hopefully get an xray if needed. i feel like crap for letting the ped and my mom make me feel like i was over reacting, and for my ignoring my mommy-gut to bring him for an emergency visit. plus i’m worried about whether there is some underlying damage, if it will be an issue as he (rapidly) grows either with his eyesight or facial deformity.

obviously i have to wait and see what the doctor says now on monday. hopefully she will confirm her original assessment that he’s fine, it will eventually go away and i’m just being an over reactive first time mommy…. but if you were in this situation what would you do? are my friends right? should i consult a lawyer?

Best answer:

Answer by Steffah
I’d let it go. Kids get banged up sometimes, it’s part of being a kid. When he’s older, there’s a good chance he’ll look back and laugh, or brag about his ‘battle scar’. Playground’s can’t be 100% safe.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by - March 29, 2011 at 3:13 am

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