Between 2001 - 2008, an average of 218,851 preschool and elementary children received emergency department care for injuries that occured on playground equipment.


  • 61% of the injuries happened
    on public playground equipment
  • 19% occurred on home playground 
  • 20% not recorded
  • 1% Other
*Percentages may not equal 100 due to rounding.

Source: CPSC October 29, 2009 


Of the incidents reported

67% involved falls or equipment failure
8% hazards around but not related to the equipment
7% collisions with other children or the equipment
7% entrapments
11% other

Approximately 15% of the injuries were classified as severe, with 3% requiring hospitalization.

Source: CPSC October 29, 2009

40 deaths were associated with playground equipment between 2001-2008.

Average age was 6 years; median age was 4 years.
27 deaths were the result of hangings or other asphyxiations
7 deaths were the result of head or neck injuries

Source: CPSC October 29, 2009

Top four equipment pieces associated with injuries

Climbers- 23%
Swings- 22%
Overhead ladders- 9%

Source: CPSC October 29, 2009 

Most Common Injuries are: 

Fractures- 36%
Contusions/Abrasions- 20%
Lacerations- 17%
Strains and Sprains- 12%
Internal/ Organs- 5%
Concussions- 2%
Other- 8%

Source: NEISS Database, May 2009 

Other Statistics

  • Reported incidents with known ages, the 0-4 age group accounts for 54% of the data.
  • Males account for 54% of the reported incidents where gender is recorded.
  • Overall, a slight but significant decrease in injuries was recorded from previous data (1998-2000).

Statistic Sources

Data reported in O'Brien, C. (October 2009) Injuries and Investigated Deaths Associated with Playground Equipment, 2001-2008. Washington D.C : U.S. Consumer Product Safety Comission.

Data was obtained between 2001-2008 by the CPCS, National Electronic Surveillance System (NEISS). NEISS collects playground product- related data from a selected sample of more than 100 hospital emergency departments located throughout the United States. Thus, only emergency room injuries are recorded and the national statistics are estimates. All statistics have been adjusted to reflect out-of-scope cases that were reported to NEISS.