National School Safety Center
Pepperdine University – Malibu, CA
“As a playground supervisor at an elementary school for six years, grade school playgrounds are not for the meek!” says Janis Dingwall, Cedarhurst Elementary School, Seattle. Each year over 200,000 children are injured on school playgrounds. That is 200,000 children sustain injuries serious enough to send them to the doctor or hospital.
In 1992, E. Hale Curran Elementary schools (K-5) in Murrieta, Calif., began its own study. The school was three years old with a rapidly growing population. Its playground featured typical courts and games: hopscotch, tetherball, baseball diamonds, volleyball courts, slides, swings and climbing apparatus.
As the number of students grew, so did the injuries. In 1992, only 28 percent of the total 32 accidents resulted in visits to the doctor. By 1994, the total injuries had risen to 51, with 43 percent serious enough to warrant a doctor’s attention.