Douglas County boy recovers from playground fall, a relatively common injury among children

Posted at 6:08 PM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 20:35:18-05

AURORA, Colo., - Demetrius Purvis is your typical 8-year-old kid. He’s athletic, quick-witted and doesn’t let much slow him down. 

But last Monday, while at school in Castle Rock, he fell on the playground and injured his head.

"I was running and I got tripped, and I like hit my head on the poles -- on a pole of the playground,” he said. 

His parents took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion. But after several more days of vomiting and not feeling well, Demetrius was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Colorado, where he received a different, much more serious diagnosis of pancreatitis.

The injury hasn’t yet been linked to the fall he says he sustained at school, and he’s undergoing tests.

“We're waiting on one more test for them to look at the pancreas to see if and where the damage is -- if it's definitely pancreatitis -- and make a plan from there," said Davis Purvis, Demetrius’ father.

Playground injuries are more common that many parents might think.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, children aged 5 to 9 have higher rates of emergency room visits for playground injuries than any other age group. Most of these injuries occur at school.

The CDC said about 45 percent of playground-related injuries are severe fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations and amputations.

While all children who use playgrounds are at risk for injury, girls sustain injuries (55 percent) slightly more often than boys (45 percent), the CDC said.

And doctors say many of them are preventable.

“Make sure to try to provide adult supervision. Almost half of injuries that occur on playgrounds occur when there is no adult present. The adult's job is to make sure the playground is in good repair and the kid is not pushing themselves too high on the playground," said Dr. Kevin Carney, Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children's Hospital of Colorado.

While Purvis has a tough road ahead of him, much of which is unknown, he was all smiles as some former Denver Broncos players showed up to wish him well during our visit with him Monday.


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