Thousands of Children Injured on Playgrounds Each Year

Reporter: Shannon Samson

Web Producer: Amber Griswold

Playground accidents send about 200-thousand American kids to the emergency room every year.
With most schools back in session, we have some advice from an expert to keep kids safe at recess.
Funded by the CDC, the National Program for Playgrounds Safety surveys more than 3-thousand school and public play areas across the country and issues a report card.
Here's how we did in the Tri-state.
All three states have shown improvement since the last survey. Illinois leads with a B+. But the NPPS believes all children deserve an "A" when it comes to safety and here's how that can be achieved.
Safety experts say playground equipment should not have openings three and a half to nine inches wide, which could trap youngsters' heads or bodies. These hazards aren't hard to find.
The surfaces, such as wood chips or sand, around the equipment should be twelve to eight inches deep to cushion falls.
Older kids can look for problems on their own with the National Program for Playground Safety's "Kid Checker."
The NPPS encourages parks to post signs with age recommendations and warnings.
What the agency doesn't like to see is places where kids can hide, because adult supervision is the best way to prevent playground injuries.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Kylie, may not realize it, but her grandma is never far away.
Jackie Eli, grandmother, explained, "You can just smother them and that's no good, but you definitely got to know where they are and keep your eye on them."
Gail Riecken with the Evansville Parks and Recreation Department says they've already had the city's playgrounds inspected and plan to have improvements made by October.
For more information on the "Kid Checker" and a report card of American playgrounds, go to