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  • Writer's pictureE. Smith

HOW I WAS A PLAYGROUND INJURY STATISTIC

Why are inspections important enough California saw it necessary to mandate them? Because it reduces injuries like the one I had when a wee lass. Story time! One day (so) long ago I was up the street at our amazing community playground. It was themed as an old western town with multiple stories of shops for our little imaginations to run wild. Splintering wood and all, so authentic. My brothers, some neighbor kids, and I thought it would be fun to climb the oversized Lincoln Log structure (which was clearly there for climbing) to play Ultimate Gladiator - which required squaring off with an opponent and slapping at each other to see who could maintain the balance of a ballerina. Being one of the only girls in attendance I was eager to prove I was the Ultimate Gladiator. I was not. I lost nearly every time, but was laughing so hard from having fun that losing didn’t matter. I was on top of the (Lincoln Log) world having a blast with people that didn’t always rush to include me. On the last round, I lost and was knocked off, yet again. Only this time I did NOT land with the agility of a cat. Nope. I landed on my feet, on the compact sand below, in just the right spot that my bones felt like glass, shattering and sending pain signals throughout my body and mind. I couldn’t move or touch it without blinding pain. One of the kids had to run home to get help, my screaming sobs didn’t reach adult ears. We rushed to the hospital where it was deemed a horrible sprain. I couldn’t believe my bones weren’t shattered, it surely felt like it. It was the worst childhood injury I suffered, and my ankle has never been the same. Now that I have been educated in playground safety, I realize the sand was not adequate for the height we were falling from. A climbing structure at that height was asking for fall injuries. I NEVER thought landing on my feet would cause such pain, it was a hazard unknown to me. Eventually the playground was replaced. Although it broke many hearts, including mine, I now understand why these changes are being made every chance possible. That old western town was a death trap. So many spots a child could fall and break a neck, or in my case, nearly an ankle. Following State and National standards, injuries like this are more preventable. I created Play Safe Inspections to help prevent injuries, no child should become injured because of hazards unknown to them. We are here to help keep owners and operators up to code, equipment working, and kids safe at play. Reach out with a photo of the playground you manage, and we will send a proposal within 24 hours. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions. We are here to help.


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