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Common School Items Present Great Risks to Children
Even individuals who stay close to home face exposure to countless safety hazards every day, but many parents expect a high degree of safety for their children while they are in a controlled environment, like school. Unfortunately, each Charlotte injury lawyer at our firm gets calls from parents who entrusted their children’s safety to a school, only to get the dreaded news that their children were injured.
The responsibility to keep children safe falls on everyone, including parents who teach their children not to run with scissors, the school staff that must watch them each day, and even the manufacturers of products used on school grounds. It is important to know the top risks and to identify when reasonable care might have prevented injuries.
The Top Five School Risks to Children
In a September 2015 report, WMCActionNews5 listed the top 20 school items that cause injuries to children. Surprisingly, scissors were only number 19 on that list, but the following items represent the top five:
- Playground equipment causes an average of over 60,000 injuries every year, making it far and away the top cause of injuries to children on school premises.
- Carpets, rugs and other flooring are second on the list of school dangers to children, injuring nearly 27,000 children each year.
- Stairs cause nearly 25,000 injuries in schools every year, ranking them very close to flooring.
- Furniture runs a close fourth place. Even excluding beds and chairs, furniture injures nearly 21,000 children in school every year.
- Walls and ceilings in schools surprisingly represent the fifth most common cause of injuries to children, causing an average of nearly 17,000 injuries annually.
Some Accidents Can Be Prevented With Greater Care
Of course, it is virtually impossible to prevent all accidental injuries sustained by highly-active children. Even when negligence is involved, many parties can face liability, including the following:
- Product manufacturers or distributors who supply poorly-designed or faulty equipment can be held accountable through product liability actions when their products cause injuries.
- School districts or administrators may be responsible based on premises liability law when they fail to properly maintain school yards and buildings, such as in the case of children slipping on wet floors or tripping on loose carpets or rugs.
- Teachers or supervisors are not necessarily expected to prevent every possible accident when they are entrusted with the care of many children. However, when injuries are caused because they do not exercise a reasonable degree of care, they can be held accountable, generally in conjunction with the schools that hired them.
Cuts and bruises are common to most children in school or anywhere else, and they typically do not represent cases of negligence from a legal standpoint. That said, parents whose children suffered significant injuries while at school should strongly consider seeking advice and support. An attorney with investigative resources can help identify possible legal options and develop compelling cases when appropriate.