Despite safety improvements in playgrounds, there has been a significant increase in playground-related brain injuries, according to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Between 2001 and 2013, emergency departments saw an average of 21,000 playground-related traumatic brain injuries each year among children 14 years of age and younger. In 2013, 29,000 children were taken to Emergency Departments for serious head injuries, up from 18,000 in 2001.
“It’s not just sports. This study highlights the importance of other causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions among children,” said Dr. Jeneita Bell, a medical officer with the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Bell had no explanation as to why the number of playground-related head injuries have increased in recent years. She suspects the increased awareness of concussions have helped educate parents of the urgency in seeking treatment in the event of a head trauma.
Monkey bars, playground gyms and swings were the most noted culprits. Two-thirds of the injuries occurred at schools and recreational sports facilities. Injuries occurred more often in boys, and more than half the children treated were between the ages of 5 and 9. The months in which playground-related injuries happen most were April, May and September.
Source: U.S. News & World Report