UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Paediatric elbow fractures and public play spaces : adherence to standards for children’s playground equipment and surfacing Smith, Jennifer; Chhina, Harpreet; Sidhu, Pardeep; Brussoni, Mariana; Pike, Ian; Cooper, Anthony


Supracondylar humerus fractures (SCHF) are the most common fractures sustained following a fall onto an outstretched hand among healthy children, and one of the leading causes of hospital admission and surgical intervention. The aim of this study was to examine SCHF occurring at public play spaces—particularly to determine whether or not the playground equipment implicated in injurious falls aligned with Canadian playground safety standards. T`he majority of SCHF cases occurred at playgrounds with insufficient surface depth and/or non- compliant equipment. Upper body equipment, track rides and rotating play structures were of particular concern, as the children fell from heights exceeding the recommended standard, likely reflecting the degradation and compaction of the surfacing material over time.

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