When toy makers are most concerned with marketing "fun" and cutting costs of building materials, safety measures can easily be forgotten. Play structures for kids are no exception.
Instead of creating a great birthday bash for kids, these four types of recreational structures have had a history of becoming dangerous or even deadly.
These inflatable structures are a low-cost entertainment method intended to allow children to jump up and down in a secure, enclosed area. Their ability to hold many children at once makes bouncy houses a popular rental option for birthday parties, school and church festivities and fundraisers.
However, a freak accident in July of 2006 left two killed and 13 seriously injured when a bouncy castle with 30 people inside of it took off with the wind up to 50 feet in the air. The castle crashed back down to earth after traveling about 150 feet away.
Most metal slides have been replaced with plastic. That's because using these structures on a hot summer day almost inevitably lead to a burn and risked Tetanus. If the material wasn't blazing hot or covered in rust, the hard material could still lead to worse injuries if a fall were to occur.
Trampolines are such a high risk for injury that most home owners are require to report owning one to their insurance company. With as many as 100,000 trampoline-related injuries being cited within one year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests trampolines should never be used, except by certain athletes, such as gymnasts.
In a recent case, a child died after being thrown from inflatable trampoline at Gorleston beach. In another recent incident, a couple's three-year-old son broke his femur from jumping on a trampoline.
Merry-go-rounds were a common sight to see near metal slides on public playgrounds until recent years. These large spinning wheels were riddled with potential danger for kids who spun too fast and couldn't hang on or kids who couldn't walk straight after their spin-around.
The speed of these structures can now be regulated with a tool that is welded to the frame of the structure. However, most new parks almost scrap the idea of the merry-go-round all together, replacing the large wheel with small, light-weight, individual spinners.
While metal slides and merry-go-rounds are on their way out in most neighborhoods, bouncy castles and trampolines are still very common play structures. If your child is injured while playing on a dangerous structure in a public park, at a school or at a friend's house, consider speaking with a products liability attorney about your options. A lawyer can help you seek compensation for this pain and suffering.