When kids head back to school for the year, they face new risks that they did not experience during the summer months. Schools have the responsibility of ensuring that pupils are kept safe during school hours. Parents should also do their part to ensure that kids know safety rules and do not engage in high-risk behavior.
If a child is injured in a bus accident or due to negligence at school, parents need to understand their rights to make an injury claim. A personal injury lawyer can provide representation to victims and their loved ones.
Back to School Safety Advice
For children under the age of 15, unintentional injury is a leading cause of death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there were 5,401 young people who were killed over the course of the year. Preventing accidents can reduce the number of children who lose their lives.
The National Safety Council has some tips for safety practices to follow to prevent injury as kids go back to school. The NSC’s checklist includes transportation safety tips such as:
- Ensuring that children who walk to school know the rules for staying safe including walking on sidewalks when possible and always looking both right and left before crossing the road.
- Doing a practice walk to school with kids, especially if it is their first time walking on their own or if they will be taking a different route to school.
- Providing kids who bike to school with a helmet that fits properly and requiring the helmet be worn at all times when bicycling. Bicycle riding children should also be reminded that they must ride on the correct side of the road and that they should come to a full and complete stop before they cross.
- Requiring that kids who take a bus to school stand at least six feet back from the curb while waiting for the bus and cross at least 12 feet in front of the bus.
Playground accidents are also a risk for young people. Children should not be allowed to play on playgrounds that are located above concrete, grass or a dirt. Schools that provide playground facilities need to ensure that there is a soft surface below the playground in case a child falls. In addition, kids should be supervised carefully at all times, and the use of climbing equipment should be limited. School playgrounds should not have monkey bars available and parents should not allow kids to climb on monkey bars.
Finally, kids face the potential for back injuries as a result of heavy backpacks. It is advisable for parents to make sure that kids have a backpack that fits them properly and that does not weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of a young child’s body weight. Kids should be encouraged or required to carry the backpack with the straps over both shoulders.
By following these best practices for safety, hopefully kids can have a safe and fulfilling school year and the risk of injuries will be reduced.
Accident lawyers in Washington, D.C. can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.