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Student Playground Injury

Tabletop Exercise #5
New Flowers

Student Playground Injury

Tabletop Exercise #5

When: September, Mid-morning

Where: Elementary School Playground

Incident: Student was standing on the swing seat and fell off breaking his arm.

Event details:
During mid-morning recess a group of 28 3rd graders are out playing on the playground. The paraprofessional assigned to supervise is helping a student on the sidewalk. Across the playground another student is standing on the swing seat swinging back and forth. The chain on the swing snaps and the student falls hitting his head and injuring his arm.

What was the response?
The paraprofessional comes over to check on the student. She stands the student up and walks him to the nurse’s office. The nurse evaluates that the student has broken his arm and is concerned about his head injury. The nurse contacts EMS to come and transport the student to the emergency room. The principal contacted the student’s parents. After investigation of the playground equipment, it was determined that the S-hook had a gap and came detached from the frame causing the swing to fall. Maintenance records revealed that this issue had been reported but never fixed, opening the school up to greater liability.

Critical Thinking Questions

1. What current emergency policies and procedures are necessary in this scenario?
2. Was the response adequate to the magnitude of the incident?
3. Is any individual or department trained on what to do in a similar scenario?
4. Would you have involved anyone else?
5. What would your school have done differently?
6. What lessons can be learned from this scenario?


Playgrounds are an important component of the learning environment and through proper safety inspections and routine maintenance they may support your educational mission. Join us next time for another tabletop exercise

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