Who Can Be Held Liable For Playground Injuries

Playground injuries are more common than many parents realize. Every year in the U.S., more than 200,000 children visit emergency departments for playground-related injuries. Almost half (45%) of these injuries are severe, such as brain injuries, fractures, internal injuries, and amputations. Public, school and at-home playgrounds can pose significant threats to child safety. Inherent dangers in the equipment’s design, part malfunctions, and negligent supervision can all lead to harmful accidents. If your child suffers a playground injury, learn whom you might hold responsible.

School and Daycare Center Supervisors

One common reason for playground injuries is the lack of adult supervision. School jungle gyms, daycare playgrounds, and private play equipment require adult supervision to prevent injury. Even when children use a safe piece of playground equipment correctly, an incident can occur from other children pushing, pulling, or fighting with them. It is a supervisor’s responsibility to prevent or break up fights before they result in injury.

In other cases, a poorly supervised child may use equipment in an unsafe manner, such as climbing on top of monkey bars or jumping off of swing sets. If a playground injury stems from improper supervision and is not a defective or dangerous product, you may be able to hold the supervisor and/or establishment liable for damages. The same is true for a babysitter or neighbor that fails to supervise your child on a home playground. Any person or establishment with a duty of care to supervise your child may become a defendant in these cases.

In the event of inadequate supervision at school or daycare, you may be able to hire an Austin daycare injury lawyer and bring a case against the school itself or the whole school district. Since the teacher or school personnel in charge of watching your child is an employee of the facility, the Texas courts may hold the school or daycare center liable. Lack of supervision may also have resulted from understaffing or improper employee training. Cases against babysitters would be against an individual, unless the babysitter was an employee of a staffing agency or company.

Maintenance Managers

Improper maintenance is another common cause of playground injuries. All playground equipment requires regular maintenance such as the tightening of loose screws, replacement of missing parts, and safety checks. Maintenance-related hazards on playgrounds may include trash on the ground, rusty equipment, and damaged fall surfaces. It is the playground owner’s responsibility to maintain the property and keep it reasonably safe for visitors.

The first question to ask when assigning responsibility for poor maintenance is who owns the playground. If your child was playing in a public area, the town or city is likely responsible for maintenance and playground upkeep. If it was at a school, the public school district may be in charge of maintenance. Bringing a personal injury claim against a governmental body can be difficult, as these suits follow different rules than other types of claims. Hire an Austin personal injury attorney for help bringing a case against the state, city, county, or school district.

Negligent Manufacturers

Manufacturing defects and design flaws are common causes of playground injuries. A swing missing a link in the chain or a metal slide with a jagged edge are examples of defective and dangerous playground equipment. If your child suffered an injury due to a piece of faulty equipment, you may have a product liability case. You do not have to prove a manufacturer’s negligence in these cases – you must only prove that the equipment is defective and that the defect caused your child’s injury.

No matter what the circumstances, always contact an attorney regarding your child’s serious playground injury in Texas. You may be eligible to receive compensation from the responsible party or parties.
From: Who Can Be Held Liable for Playground Injuries? (rosslawgroup.com)

Per CDC: Playground Injuries: Fact Sheet


Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries (Tinsworth 2001).

 Occurrence and Consequences

  • About 45% of playground-related injuries are severe–fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations (Tinsworth 2001).
  • About 75% of nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds (Tinsworth 2001). Most occur at schools and daycare centers (Phelan 2001).
  • Between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground-related injuries. Of them, 82 (56%) died from strangulation and 31 (20%) died from falls to the playground surface. Most of these deaths (70%) occurred on home playgrounds (Tinsworth 2001).


In 1995, playground-related injuries among children ages 14 and younger cost an estimated $1.2 billion (Office of Technology Assessment 1995).

Groups at Risk

  • While all children who use playgrounds are at risk for injury, girls sustain injuries (55%) slightly more often than boys (45%) (Tinsworth 2001).
  • Children ages 5 to 9 have higher rates of emergency department visits for playground injuries than any other age group. Most of these injuries occur at school (Phelan 2001).

Risk Factors

  • On public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbers than on any other equipment (Tinsworth 2001).
  • On home playgrounds, swings are responsible for most injuries (Tinsworth 2001).
  • A study in New York City found that playgrounds in low-income areas had more maintenance-related hazards than playgrounds in high-income areas. For example, playgrounds in low-income areas had significantly more trash, rusty play equipment, and damaged fall surfaces (Suecoff 1999).

Performing routine safety audits and inspections of the parks and playgrounds in your community, schools, and other facilities is vital to ensure that they stay safe.