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9-Year-Old Girl Dies on School Playground Equipment

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Nine-year-old Alyssa Avila, of Oklahoma, died Thursday when she fell from a teetertotter-like piece of playground equipment called the "X-Wave," which is manufactured by a Minnesota-based company called Xccent, Inc.

Here is a video of the "X-Wave" in motion:

The three-piece apparatus is joined together by hinges and moves up and down, reported NewsOK.

Alyssa was sitting where the two pieces connect, and when that section was in the air, she fell off the equipment. When she stood up to get back on the equipment, she was hit in the head as that section was coming down, knocking her to the ground.

When medical personnel arrived at the school, she was in cardiac arrest and CPR was being performed. She later died.

It alarms us to know that our school playgrounds could be unsafe -- or even deadly. Our hearts go out to Alyssa's family in this tragic time.

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37 comments so far | Post a comment now
Diane August 24, 2010, 4:19 AM

My childs school will soon have an issue as this, they have had 9 broken bones in just a few short months due to the same park of the play ground and will NOT fix the problem and our teachers who are supposed to be watching our children dont. My daughter broke her arm and then one month to the day she broke her nose! she is only 8! playgrounds are NOT safe!!!

ami August 24, 2010, 7:23 AM

Seriously, we are raising a generation of over protected children. Is any playground perfectly safe ? Of course not, kids are going to get bumped, bruised, cut and scraped. It’s tragic that this little girl died, but just because your child got injured doesn’t automatically make it someones fault. For years children have broken bones from falling out of trees or riding their bikes too fast down a really great hill. Do you sue the tree ?

Sara August 24, 2010, 9:28 AM

Playgrounds are not safe?

Guess we should keep kids inside in front of the Television. They’ll be overweight and die earlier but not have scrapes or broken bones.

AnnieMouse August 24, 2010, 11:14 AM

While it is terrible and I feel awful for her family, I don’t feel that the equipment is to blame for her death or that it should be recalled or not used on future playgrounds. I think this is just a terrible accident. Playgrounds are rough and bumps, bruises, and even sprains and breaks are going to happen. We can’t protect our kids from everything and can’t expect them not to get hurt ever.

Krista August 24, 2010, 12:26 PM

All of you think that it shouldn’t even be removed form the playground?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Are you crazy, you would let your kids go on the very same one the girl died on? Really? You would buy one and put it in your backyard? You would want in your neighbor hood park. Its not about over protecting but commen sense her and you cruel moms should give your head a shake and wonder why you had kids. Thoughts are with the family.

Rita August 24, 2010, 12:47 PM

How horrible. I have a 9 year old daughter and I don’t know what I would do if this happened to her. My thoughts and prayers are definitely with Alyssa’s family, friends and school at this time.

No, we can’t watch our children 24/7, but teachers need to remain vigilant on the playground. Sometimes they stand around and talk to each other, oblivious to what’s happening on the playground. If something tragic happens like this, maybe the playground item needs to be inspected and most likely removed.

Virginia August 24, 2010, 1:32 PM

It’s tragic but it’s an “accident” not an “on purpose” no one is to blame or is responsible. Playing on a playground has inherent danger and mishaps happen. The thing probably hit her head in such a way to cause irreparable damage, very unfortunate but not uncommon, things like this happen everyday. She could have fallen from a swing or slide and suffered the same fate. I hope they are not sue happy.

anonymous August 24, 2010, 6:24 PM

Give me a break. It’s not a piece of faulty playground equipment that caused it. It’s not like it has a known, deadly flaw. A terrible accident happened. If she had hit her head on a desk, would you have advocated banning desks?

Kristin August 25, 2010, 12:56 AM

While I agree with everyone who is saying it’s tragic and the equipment is not to blame, that video made it look very dangerous. At the part when all of the children are sitting on it, it seems as if at any moment they could all fall off and also suffer at best the wind knocked out of them, and at worse, death. It’s made out of metal.

Playgrounds are always going to cause injuries because kids are daring and reckless, but we can minimize those accidents by having safer playground equipment and more sports instead of tall things to climb and whatnot. I was in elementary school just 15 years ago and we had only 1 serious injury and it was from a 10ft tall climbing structure. No one got hurt on the monkey-bars or junglegym or slides. We played on the swings and we played soccer and we were more fit and active.


Awareness September 1, 2010, 11:47 AM

Perhaps the parents should have taught this child to be aware of her surroundings. When you fall off of something that goes up and down, expect it to be coming down. be certain of where it is before you stand back up. sort of like looking both ways before crossing the street.

Anonymous September 8, 2010, 4:04 PM

you all need to see that the medical examiner says no blunt traum to the head she died of other medical reasons.

amom September 16, 2010, 6:06 PM

Dianne, were those injuries caused from the x-xave?
Ami and AnnieMouse: We’re not talking about bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, or sprains. We’re talking about a child getting killed. What if it were your child?
Sara: She was not overweight. She was very active, she had many scrapes and bruises but she is dead! From being whacked in the head by a peice of “playgroung equipment”, not from sitting in front of the television, wouldn’t you rather have your child sitting in front of the television instead of dead?

Virginia: A swing or slide would not have come back and hit her on the head with such force!

Anonymous: A desk didn’t move on it’s own and hit her in the head with enough force to kill her!

Awareness: You’re just plain ignorant!

And Anonymous: Where did you hear there was no blunt trauma? Don’t you know you can die from a severe head injury with no outward signs? Did you see what happened? Did you talk to the medical examiner yourself? Who said she died of other medical reasons? Did you talk to the witnesses? Did you see her lying in the hospital bed? Do you know what she looked like? Did you hear what the E.R. Dr. told her family and other people that were there? I don’t think so or you wouldn’t say what you are saying!

You guys are supposed to be mothers that care about their children?

Thank you Diane!

Krista and Rita: You guys are sooo right! Exactly! Thank you so much!!

amom September 16, 2010, 6:08 PM

Whoever wrote the article, Thank You!

amom September 16, 2010, 6:15 PM

Dianne, Rita, Krista and Krisin: Again, thank you! You guys know what it’s like to be a mom who cares!

ButtonDog October 1, 2010, 8:30 PM

Anonymous, Are you aware that the Oklahoma State Medical Examiners office lost it’s accrediation in July? So you are saying to take the word of a non accredited Medical Examiner.

ButtonDog October 15, 2010, 6:25 PM

Anonymous, that same Medical Examiners Office that said that lost it’s accreditation just one month before this happend. Do you really want to take the word of a Medical Examiners Office that has lost it’s accreditation and has a track record of being wrong, even in homicide cases.

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