Epidemiology of playground equipment injuries resulting in hospitalization

J Paediatr Child Health. 1990 Dec;26(6):329-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1990.tb02446.x.


Preparation of the New Zealand Playground Standard was seriously hampered by a lack of published information on the incidence, nature, and circumstances of playground equipment-related injuries. The present study was aimed at redressing this lack of information. Examination of all discharges from New Zealand public hospitals for 1984 identified 1125 children less than 15 years of age who had been admitted for the treatment of playground equipment-related injury. This gave an incidence rate of 137/100,000 children per year. The mean age was 7.2 years. The commonest injury was fracture of the upper limb (48%), followed by intracranial injury (26%). One-third occurred at school, climbing apparatus (40%) was most often involved, and the great majority involved falls (93%). With this study it has been possible for the first time in any country to report an incidence rate for all causes of playground equipment-related injuries resulting in hospitalization, based on data for an entire population. The findings support the emphasis placed on falls in the Standard.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Schools
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*