Back to school is just around the corner, which is an exciting time for parents and children alike. As a parent, you are no doubt proud to see your child advance another year in his or her education, and are likely looking forward to some extra free time as well! Don’t send your kid in without being aware of the potential dangers, though.
Most schools go out of their way to ensure that your child is in a safe environment, but sometimes accidents do happen. Here are some of the most common school injuries, and a few pointers on how best to avoid them.
Many school-age children participate in sports, which provide numerous physical, psychological, and social benefits. However, sports also place your child at risk for injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.6 million school-age children are sent to the emergency room annually for sports-related injuries. This makes sports-related injuries the single most common cause of school injuries.
To help prevent sports injuries, check in with your child’s school athletics department to ensure that there is a strong commitment to injury prevention. This includes measures such as staff training, equipment maintenance, appropriate warm-up and cool-down exercises, proper conditioning, and avoidance of overexertion during practices.
Most sports injuries, such as strains and sprains, resolve on their own. However, if your child has sustained a lasting injury and accrued medical expenses as a result, consult with a personal injury attorney to make sure that your child receives adequate compensation, and that the school takes measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Most students carry backpacks to transport textbooks, lunches and school supplies. However, overloading backpacks with too many textbooks or carrying backpacks improperly can cause back, neck, and shoulder injuries, or lead to poor posture. Damage to the developing musculoskeletal system is particularly detrimental and can lead to lifelong problems.
To help avoid backpack injuries, make sure that your child’s backpack does not weigh more than 10% of her body weight. Also make sure that your child wears the backpack with both shoulder straps, so that the weight is distributed evenly. When you’re picking up your back-to-school supplies, be sure to select a backpack that is lightweight and has padded straps.
Injuries on the playground send approximately 200,000 children to the emergency room each year. Children often fall or are pushed off of playground equipment, sustaining fractures, sprains, strains, dislocations, concussions, cuts, and bruises. Bars or other climbing equipment are the most common cause of playground injuries.
You can help prevent playground injuries by teaching your child to follow playground rules, and by checking in with the school regarding playground supervision and maintenance of playground equipment. If you believe that your child sustained a playground injury due to school negligence, contact a Florida personal injury attorney to get the compensation your child deserves, and to keep his or her classmates from sustaining similar injuries.
In recent years, bullying and school violence have come under the spotlight, and most schools have taken substantial preventive measures against school violence. However, violence and bullying between students can and does happen, and can be very traumatic for children, not to mention potentially resulting in substantial physical injury.
To help protect your child from school violence, encourage them to be candid with you about any problems with their classmates. Also check in with your school to make sure that adequate preventive measures against school violence, such as conflict resolution programs and staff training, are in place.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.