Largely as a result of playground mishaps, children are incurring traumatic brain injuries at an alarming rate.
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote that activities at indoor gyms, unsupervised recreational sports, and large indoor play areas also contributed to a 30 percent increase (from 21,000 to 30,000 annually) in TBIs among children under 14. An unknown number of these injuries were fatal. What is known is that only 3 percent of these child victims receive follow-up hospital care; the remainder were sent home after emergency treatment. They suffer from a wide array of symptoms, including impairments of memory, movement, and emotional development.
The study authors recommended that adults carefully inspect playground equipment and only allow children to play if the ground is covered by a soft surface, such as sand or wood chips.
Playgrounds in Las Vegas
Warm temperatures almost year-round make outdoor playgrounds very popular in Sin City. Additionally, many people with small children have backyard swing sets or live in communities with a playground in a common area.
Unfortunately for parents, the state agency which regulates play parks, the Southern Nevada Health District, also oversees day care centers, Mother’s Day Out programs, school cafeterias, and a host of other childcare-related entities, so inspectors have little time to visit the city’s aging playgrounds. As a result, many playgrounds have old equipment that may be unsteady, and they are built atop hard surfaces, like the bare ground or even on concrete.
At a minimum, landowners have a duty to warn parents about these latent defects, and a generic “caution” sign is probably not sufficient. In the case of privately-operated playgrounds, like the aforementioned communal playground in a common area or a pay-per-use park, the owner generally has a duty to inspect the premises and ensure that they are reasonably safe.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Overall, about 1.7 million Americans suffer from a TBI each year, and about 80 percent of them are rushed to an emergency room. Children under 14 and adults over 65 are the most at-risk age groups. These victims must endure symptoms like:
- Loss of Consciousness: Sometimes the victim is in a daze for several minutes or hours, while other victims are in a coma for hours or days or even longer. As a rule of thumb, the longer the unconsciousness, the worse the injury.
- Headaches: Many victims report a stabbing pain that may lessen in intensity at times, but almost never goes away.
- Personality Changes: Good students suddenly start getting in trouble at school, and families struggle to deal with the consequences.
- Sleep Issues: Children and adults who have problems sleeping at night have problems staying awake during the day.
Damages in a TBI case normally include compensation for both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as emotional distress. Punitive damages are also available, in some cases.
Rely On an Experienced Attorney
Brain injuries often have lifelong consequences. For a free consultation with a zealous personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We routinely handle cases in Clark County and nearby jurisdictions.