Between 2001 - 2008, an average of 218, 851 preschool and elementary children received emergency department care for injuries that occured on playground equipment.

  • 51% of the injuries happened on public playground equipment
  • 19% occurred on home playground equipment
  • 20% not recorded
  • 1% Other
Source: CPSC October 29, 2009

Of the incidents reported

  • 67% involved falls or equipment failure
  • 8% hazards around but not related to the equipment
  • 7% collisions with other children or the equipment
  • 7% entrapments
  • 11% other

Only 29 injury reports between 2001-2008 mentioned a thermal burn with 4 of the cases requiring hospitalization

Source: CPSC October 29, 2009

Forty Deaths were associated with playground equipment between 2001-2008.

  • Average age was 6 years; median age was 4 years.
  • 27 deaths were the result of hangings or other asphyxiations
  • 7 deaths were the result of head or neck injuries

Source: CPSC October 29, 2009

Top four equipment pieces associated with injuries

  • Climbers- 23%
  • Swings- 22%
  • Slides-17%
  • Overhead ladders- 9%

Source: CPSC October 29, 2009

Most Common Injuries are

  • Fractures- 36%
  • Contusions/Abrasions- 20%
  • Lacerations- 17%
  • Strains and Sprains- 12%
  • Internal/ Organs- 5%
  • Concussions- 2%
  • Other- 3%

Source: NEISS Database, May 2009

Other Statistics

  • Reported incidents with known ages, the 0-4 age group accounts for 54% of the data
  • Males account for 54% of the reported incidents where gender is recorded
  • 73% of injuries were treated and released
  • 3% of injuries required hospitalization
  • 3% of injuries resulted in death
  • Overall, a slight but significant decrease in injuries was recorded from previous data (1998-2000)

Additional Research

Approximately 15% of the injuries were classified as severe, with 3% requiring hospitalization.

The most prevalent diagnoses were fractures (39%), lacerations (22%), contusions/abrasions (20%), strains/sprains (11%).

Falls to the surface was a contributing factor in 79% of all injuries. On home equipment, 81% were associated with falls.

Most injuries on public playground equipment were associated with climbing equipment (53%), swings (19%), and slides (17%).

Based on these statistics and other research, the National Program for Playground Safety advocates that:

  • Adults actively supervise the children in the play environment.
  • Adults choose appropriate developmental equipment for the play environment.
  • Adults provide safe surfacing both in the public use areas and at home for playground equipment.
  • Adults insure that all equipment and surfacing located in the children's play areas be maintained on a regular basis.

Statistic Sources

Data reported in O'Brien, C. (October 2009) Injuries and Investigated Deaths Associated with Playground Equipment, 2001-2008. Washington D.C : U.S. Consumer Product Safety Comission

Data was obtained between 2001-2008 by the CPCS, National Electronic Surveillance System (NEISS). NEISS collects playground product- related data from a selected sample of more than 100 hospital emergency departments located throughout the United States. Thus, only emergency room injuries are recorded and the national statistics are estimates. All statistics have been adjusted to reflect out-of-scope cases that were reported to NEISS.