Most Palm Beach County students went back to school on August 20, with teachers, parents, and children likely gearing up for the summer to fall transition for many weeks.
Returning to school not only means getting back in the classroom, but also the return to playgrounds, gymnasiums, school buses, and sports. While recess and extracurricular activities are the “fun” part of school for many children, they are also the setting for numerous accidents and injuries.
According to research conducted by the National SAFE KIDS Campaign (NSKC), an estimated 2.2 million children ages 14 and under sustain school related injuries each year.
While many of these injuries are unintentional (unlike injuries related to school violence or abuse), they are often caused by negligence, such as lack of adequate teacher supervision or poorly maintained facilities. In fact, lack of supervision is associated with 40 percent of playground injuries.
Common Causes of School Accidents & Injuries
Among elementary school students, playgrounds are associated with the majority of injuries, and for secondary school students, athletics — including both physical education classes and organized sports — account for most injuries.
School bus-related accidents, often involving child pedestrians, also account for many injuries.
Common causes of these accidents and injuries include:
- Failure to regularly maintain school equipment and facilities
- Failure to properly train school staff to supervise children and administer emergency first aid and CPR when necessary
- Asphalt, concrete, grass, and soil surfaces under playground equipment, as opposed to loose-fill materials such as shredded rubber, mulch, and fine sand
- Failure to ensure children play on age-appropriate playground equipment
- Failure to use appropriate safety equipment for sports activities
- Failure to group children according to skill level, size, and physical maturity, especially for contact sports
- A school bus driver’s failure to see children attempting to enter or exit the bus
Other drivers’ failure to obey school bus stop signs
Too often, parents and teachers blame children’s injuries on children’s behavior rather than their surroundings. However, budget cuts and overcrowding in Florida schools may not only diminish the quality of education received by students, but also may affect the safety and integrity of the environment in which they learn and interact.
By holding schools accountable for student accidents, concerned parents can help ensure schools take proper measures to protect children from injuries in the future.
Contact a Knowledgeable South Florida Injury Lawyer
If your child has sustained an injury at school, and you believe negligence on the part of a teacher or the school system could be at least partially to blame, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Fetterman & Associates for a free initial consultation.
We serve southeast Florida, including the communities of Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Port St. Lucie, and Fort Pierce.