On February 3rd, family and friends gathered at First Covington United Methodist Church to hold a vigil for a little girl who could have had a long and happy life. What happened to this little girl has been described as a “freak accident,” but so many questions remain unanswered about how this girl lost her life while playing during recess.
A 5-year-old girl was playing on the monkey bars at Newton County Theme School. She was surrounded by fellow classmates and at least 10 teachers and paraprofessionals when she somehow became wedged between the bars on the playground equipment. Faculty rushed to her rescue and called emergency services. First responders used CPR on the girl and rushed her to the hospital, but the doctors were unable to save her.
Parents, children, and faculty at Newton County Theme School are still reeling from the events. The family of the victim is asking for privacy and the school has asked that all questions regarding the incident be forwarded to law enforcement as they continue to investigate what went wrong. So far the county coroner has ruled the girl’s death as “accidental”, but many questions still remain.
How Often Do Playground Accidents Happen?
Were the children properly supervised during recess? Were children allowed to use the playground equipment in unsafe ways? Was the accident caused by a flaw in the design of the playground equipment? Between 2001-2008, 67 percent of all playground injuries reported were caused by equipment failure and falls, and the most common injuries were bone fractures. Out of the 40 deaths during that time period, 27 were attributed to some form of asphyxiation.
When we let our children play on playground equipment, it’s important to stay watchful and to intervene whenever we see unsafe behavior. Unfortunately, playground equipment is not as safe as many assume it to be, so it’s important to spread the word and make sure equipment manufacturers are held responsible for the design errors they make.
This has been a message from the Georgia premises liability attorneys at The McArthur Law Firm. We fight for you!