Parents on the verge of sending their kids off to school for another year might be uneasy about the high rate of school-related injuries to children in Asheville, and throughout the country each year.
Hickory personal injury lawyers agree that your concerns are legit and should never be taken lightly considering it is estimated that children spend a fourth of their awake time on school property.
Concussions, abrasions, cuts and broken bones are all common injuries that can occur at school and can be considered severe enough to need medical attention for recovery.
Topic three of our four-part blog series on “Back to School Safety” focuses on child injuries that can be sustained at school or on the playground and some tips on how to avoid them. Teen/motorist safety tips, walking and biking to school safely, and safe routes are other areas of interest we have included in the series.
Employees working for school districts have a responsibility to keep children safe while on their watch. The National School Nurse Partnership Inc. reports that approximately 1 million children suffer playground injuries each year and 160,000 of these injuries require a trip to the emergency room. Roughly 15-20 children die each year from a playground injury. A quarter of school accidents are considered severe, resulting in 1 in 14 children seeking medical attention for their injuries.
Approximately 40 percent of playground injuries occur during the months of May, June and September and 70 percent are caused by falling off playground equipment. Sadly, 40 percent of playground injuries occur because children are not being supervised properly.
To avoid playground injuries, have your children practice safe behaviors while supervisors pay close attention to these suggestions offered by the National Safety Council:
-Have children play on equipment surrounded by soft surfaces. For example, wood chips, shredded tires, pea gravel, sand, rubber mats and mulch can soften a falling surface and help reduce the risk of injury to small children when they fall off of equipment.
-Most equipment requires climbing which has a high risk of injury when children fall off.
-Small children should never be left unsupervised when climbing on equipment.
-Maintenance workers at the school should ensure that all faulty equipment is either repaired or removed from the playground. Examples of faulty play equipment are unsecured climbing ropes, loose railings, unsecured slides, or collapsible platforms.
-Never send your children to school with drawstrings or cords in their clothing. They are a high risk for strangulation when they get caught in a slide or monkey bars.
-Merry-go-rounds should have secure hand grips, a level standing or sitting surface, smooth edges, and plenty of space to operate the equipment.
North Carolina is one of few states that require playground standards as issued by American Society for Testing and Materials. Failure to follow these standards is against the law.
Backpack injuries are another school-related injury that most parents may not give much thought to. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there are roughly 7,300 emergency room visits treating sprains, bruises or strains to backs and shoulders as a result of backpack injuries each year.
Backpack injuries can be reduced with these tips from the NSC:
-Limit the weight stuffed into the backpack. Remove any unneeded items or only select books needed to complete an assignment.
-Compartmentalize by spreading the weight out to different areas.
-When you lift your backpack off the ground or floor, bend your legs at the knees for support and place one strap on your shoulder at a time.
-Always wear a backpack with both straps, not draped over one shoulder.
-Make sure straps are adjusted for comfort and properly fit.
-Hip and chest belts can help distribute weight to stronger areas like hips or torso, so if you have them secure them in place.
-Reflectors should be placed on backpacks to enhance visibility for drivers at night.
If you or someone you know have been injured in a North Carolina school-related accident, contact the experienced team of injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for experienced advice and a free consultation. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.
More Blog Entries:
Strangulation Hazard a Serious Danger in Children’s Clothes, Cribs in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 2, 2011.
Defective Products a Danger to North Carolina Children This Holiday Season, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, November 27, 2010.