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Playground Accident Preventable with Better Safety Precautions

It’s too late to save the three-year-old boy who died in a playground accident in Alpharetta recently. However, parents of toddlers and children who will be swarming the state’s playgrounds over the next few weeks of summer must take heed. It’s very easy, and much more common than you know, for children to suffer serious or even fatal injuries while playing at the playground.
In the Alpharetta incident, the three-year-old boy was playing on the slide when he choked on a piece of twine. The caregiver had turned her attention away from the child, and had gone inside for a moment. That is when the accident occurred. The boy was sliding down when his head got caught in the twine. When the caregiver found the child, he was hanging from the twine. He was rushed to the hospital, but died days later.The cause of death was ruled as asphyxiation.

It appears that the piece of twine was at the top of the slide, and shaped like a loop. When the child was sliding down, his head got into the loop, cutting off his air supply.At this time, no charges have been filed against the caregiver or anyone else involved here.

At the time, the child was in the care of a caregiver who runs an in-home childcare service. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning has issued an order for the Emergency Closure of the care service in Alpharetta. According to the statement by the agency, this incident seems to have spotlighted several rule violations, which resulted in the death of the child.

When a three-year-old child is on the playground, responsible adults must be around and overseeing the child’s play at all times.

What are the lessons for parents to take from this tragedy?First, keep your eye on your child at all times when he’s on the playground. Look around for injury hazards at the playground. Does it have rubber mats, shredded rubber, sand, or woodchips to help prevent injuries to children who are bound to fall off from slides and swings? Is the playground equipment new, or is it old, outdated, and has jagged edges? Is the equipment rusty? Is there broken glass or metal on the playground?

The playground must be covered with surface mats, shredded rubber, woodchips or sand. The area around the playground should never be covered with asphalt or concrete. Avoid having your child wear hooded outerwear with drawstrings that can get caught in cracks or openings.

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