School is winding down, meaning the kids will have more time on their hands. This would be the time to take a look around the house and the yard and consider safety in those play areas.
According to Safe Kids Kansas approximately 15 children die from injuries involving playground equipment and more than 200,000 are treated in emergency rooms in the United States each year. Falls account for 80 percent of playground injuries; however, most playground fatalities are caused by strangulation and tend to occur on home playgrounds, not on public property. In Kansas from 2005 to 2009, there were 158 hospital discharges for accidental falls from playground equipment among children 0-14 years old. Approximately 88 percent of all hospital discharges for accidental falls from playground equipment in this age group were to treat fractures. Another 9 percent were for treating injury to the internal organs.
So take a look around — and arm yourself with information. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) handbook is available at www.cpsc.gov or (800) 638-2772. For more information about playground safety, call Safe Kids Kansas at (785) 296-0351, or visit www.safekids.org.
— Kansan Editorial Board