Kids don't always bounce back
By Chris Barnes
Thanks to improved safety standards (particularly the removal of unsafe playground equipment and a reduction in the height of structures) playgrounds today are safer and injury rates for the most catastrophic head injuries have significantly declined. Unfortunately, not all is going well. The bad news is that fractures - particularly to the shoulder, wrist, forearm and elbow - are up, with those aged five to nine years most affected.
While overcrowding, lack of adult supervision and more "boring" equipment that children misuse have been blamed, the biggest culprit remains playground design. But the surprise is that it's not just about what children are falling from – mostly monkey bars – but what they're falling onto. That is, children are mostly injured when they fall from play equipment onto a hard surface.