Posted by Deborah Bailin, DVBIC Public Affairs on April 14, 2016
In Chicago, where I grew up, recess in the winter meant rollicking snowball fights and pretend “skating” races across the school playground’s ice-covered asphalt.
One day, as I zoomed past another kid on this imaginary rink, I lost my balance, hit the ice face first and shot like a hockey puck across its slippery surface before slamming into a chain link fence.
Playground safety has improved a lot since then. For instance, sand, woodchips and wood mulch on many playgrounds have replaced the less forgiving surface that broke my fall — and my front tooth.
Still, more than 200,000 children in the United States land in emergency rooms every year from playground-related injuries, including concussions. Falls like mine are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among children under 14, accounting for more than half of emergency room visits that result in a TBI diagnosis.