Health care providers urge parents in Nevada to reduce their children’s screen time and get them outdoors for more hours of play. Going to the local playground is a natural and potentially great way to follow this advice. Modern equipment is a far cry from the metal slides, teeter-totters and merry-go-rounds many parents remember from their youth. However, even the newest areas designed with safety in mind are not without their hazards. A Las Vegas product liability lawyer urges parents to take safety precautions when visiting a playground with children. Before leaving for the park, adults should put sunscreen on children and bring along water. Clothing should be inspected for safety, as well, to prevent necklaces, bike helmets or outfits with strings to be caught or tangled during play.

Safety issues

Every playground presents some safety challenges, and children can be counted on to discover unintended uses for the equipment. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that adults supervise children closely to prevent playground accidents and injuries. This includes ensuring that the equipment is age appropriate and giving the area a quick inspection for hot surfaces, glass or other sharp objects or broken equipment before turning children loose. A Las Vegas product liability lawyer may be aware of a recent concern that has arisen over the safety of substances used on the ground under play equipment. Rubber mulch is one option that many parks departments and schools have used to create a softer surface. Recycled tires are a common source, but according to the Huffington Post, scientists have recently expressed concern over its use. They believe toxic components such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals in the rubber may cause health problems such as cancer to those in frequent contact with it. The EPA plans to do more testing to determine the product’s safety. Until then, state and local governments are left with the decision of whether or not to install it on their playgrounds.

Injuries and reports

The National Program for Playground Safety reports that approximately 200,000 injuries occur annually on playgrounds in the United States. From 2001 to 2008, more than 27,000 children visited emergency departments each year due to playground injuries. Falls and equipment failures accounted for 67 percent of these. The safety group recently performed a review of the nation’s public playgrounds and found Nevada’s are relatively safe, receiving a “B” rating. The equipment is well maintained and has age-appropriate features and soft ground surfaces, but limited supervision. Many playground injuries are minor, but when faulty equipment creates an unsafe situation, children can suffer serious harm. Parents may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by a playground injury with the help of a Las Vegas product liability lawyer.