14 Broken Arms in 3 Years at Local Playground

By Rory Devine
|  Monday, Jan 24, 2011  |  Updated 9:15 PM PDT
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14 Broken Arms in 3 Years at Local Playground

Hayne Palmour IV/North County Times

A 6-year-old boy plays after school Friday on the sky wheels section of a play structure at Palmquist Elementary in Oceanside.

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14 Broken Arms in 3 Years at Local Playground

Why are so many kids breaking their arms at a North County School?
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In three years, fourteen students have broken their arms at Palmquist Elementary in Oceanside.

Parents agree -- that’s a lot.

“I think it's excessive. I think kids are going to break their arms, but I think 14 in three years is too many,” said parent Tiffany Coates.

Her daughter broke her arm in two places last year while in the first grade. She was on a zip line and when it hit the end, she fell and used her arm to break the fall.

Coates says she is not qualified to say how the problem should be fixed, but says she knows there is a problem needing attention.

So is it the zip line and the sky wheel on the play structure that are causing the problem? Or, is it the rubberized surface onto which they fall? 

Retired educator, Romayne Hertweck Ph.d., ED.D., feels it is the latter.

“Kids are going to fall," he said.

But Hertweck believes if they fell in sand, they wouldn't break their arms.

"The District is asking the wrong questions," Hertweck said.

He acknowledges the American with Disabilities Act requires that children in wheelchairs or walkers be able to access the equipment, but says disabled children are not about to use the zip line.

Keep the rubberized surface under the swings, Hertweck suggests.

The District is now requiring height restrictions, but the broken arms keep occurring. It is now further studying the issue.

 

“The District is definitely looking at the numbers and will be looking at equipment to see if any changes or modifications need to be made,” said Steve Lombard from the Oceanside Unified school District.

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