Playground safety can save a trip to the ER

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It may look like harmless fun but nearly half of playground-related injuries are severe. According to the Center for Disease Control, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children each year for playground-related injuries.

Wixson Huffstetler, Director for Jonesboro Parks and Recreation, said they do their part to keep the playgrounds safe.

"My Assistant Director, Danny Kapales, is certified and he goes around and inspects on a monthly basis," said Huffstetler. "With all our playground equipment, we make sure it's safe, still up to date and in good use."

However, even the safest equipment won't always prevent an injury. Huffstetler recommends parents stay around their children while they're playing.

"We really encourage the parents be with them hand in hand," said Huffstetler.

Although, the playground can be a good place for family fun and exercise, it's best to avoid the park during the hottest time of the day.

"The equipment gets very hot," said Huffstetler. "It can get up to 100 degrees and will burn them and make their skin irritated."

Dr. Shane Speights with St. Bernards said the playground injuries he treats can be a number of things.

"Most of those injuries are going to be fractures, strains, sprains, some concussions and lacerations," said Speights.

He said the injuries between public playgrounds and the ones in your own backyard tend to differ.

"Public playgrounds, schools or areas like that, most children are injured on the climbing mechanisms," said Speights. "Things like monkey bars or climbing walls can result to injuries to the forearm, head, chest, legs and can result in fractures."

As for the ones at home, you'll want to make sure you keep a watch on your kids with those as well.

"Most of those injuries occur on swings and again you can have similar injuries," said Speights.

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