Safety should be at the top of everyone’s back-to-school list this year. At the law firm of Michael T. Gibson, we want your children to have a safe and happy school year. While we expect our children’s school to be a safe haven for learning, unintentional injuries can occur on playgrounds, in hallways and around school buses. Parents, students, school administrators and the community can all take actions to help keep our children safe.
Here are some of the most common back-to-school injuries and how to avoid them.
Children heading back to school means an increase in traffic congestion, pedestrians at crosswalks and a greater likelihood of accidents on Central Florida roadways. Drivers must be especially cautious and slow down in school zones. Be alert for children who are getting off the bus, walking, and biking to and from school.
Pedestrian fatalities are at a 10-year high in Florida and are significantly above than the national average, traffic statistics show. More school-age pedestrians are killed in the afternoon than in the morning, with 38 percent of the fatalities occurring between 3 and 4 p.m. Children should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years of age. If your child is over the age of 10 and you feel comfortable letting them walk to school, make sure and walk the route with them before the first day of school. This way you can ensure the route is safe and that your child is familiar with it. Extensively go over with them safe pedestrian behavior and always walk with a friend or group to school, never alone.
Bus Stop Accidents:
The majority of these accidents occur when children are either entering or exiting the bus. Never approach the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver of the bus signals you to get on. A general rule for students is to stay at least 10 feet from the sides of the bus and NEVER walk behind the bus. Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or the school building. Always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see you. While waiting for the bus, remind your child to wait calmly and watch and listen for traffic.
Each year, emergency rooms treat more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 for playground-related injuries. More than 20,000 of these injuries are Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s). Children ages 5 to 9 had the highest rate of emergency room visits than any other group and most of these injuries occurred at school on monkey bars and other climbing-type equipment. Children should avoid wearing clothing items that can cause strangulation (i.e. – drawstrings on hoodies, etc.). Parents can check their child’s playground equipment to make sure it is age-appropriate. Children five years of age and younger should use playgrounds designed for preschool-age children. Look for adequate surfacing: pea gravel (smooth, round, small pea-size stones), wood chips, synthetic, soft surfaces. Grass, dirt, asphalt are all unacceptable to be underneath playground equipment. Protective surfacing under and around playground equipment can reduce the severity, even prevent playground fall-related injuries.
Get Help With A Back To School Injury When You Need It!
Despite warnings, communication and the best of intentions, accidents can still happen as a result of someone else’s negligence. At the personal injury law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., we want you and your loved ones to have a safe return to school this year. Our Orlando personal injury lawyers are committed to helping children and families who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Whether you have been involved in a car accident, bicycle accident or pedestrian accident, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Our experienced team of accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out the free consultation form found on this page or call 407-490-1271 to discuss your legal options in greater detail.