New study: Playground concussions on the rise

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a warning for parents that playground concussions are on the rise.

Heading into the warmer months, many parents will bring their kids to playgrounds. Yet they may not know how dangerous things like monkey bars could be.

The CDC study looked at almost 215,000 kids ages 14 and younger who received emergency room treatment for playground injuries. Of those, almost 10% had traumatic brain injuries, including concussions. A majority of these are attributed to monkey bars and swings.

North Carolina Brain Injury Association Coordinator Sandie Worthington says awareness goes a long way.

“When we speak with young children, we tell them ‘watch for your buddies. Watch who’s around you when you’re on the swing. Watch who’s in front of you and behind you. Watch when you’re walking across the playground that you’re not walking too close to a swing. Do not get off the swing until the swing has completely stopped’,” Worthington said. She added that parents should supervise their kids at all times, stand close by, and even help them on the playground. It’s also important to look at the playground’s surface. “Some parks, believe it or not, still have concrete underneath of them or open pavement or just hard dirt. And those surfaces aren’t very forgiving when you fall on them.”

Look for playgrounds that have about 10 inches of sand or mulch, or rubber or wooden chips.

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