Back-to-school is upon us in New York, which is exciting for parents and students alike. Most New York schools make every effort to ensure that students are in a safe and productive learning environment.
However, injuries to students still occur, especially in the first few weeks back, when everyone is settling into the routine. There are a few things that you as a parent can do to protect your children from these dangerous back-to-school injuries. It starts with knowing what to look out for.
As our society becomes more health-conscious, more and more children are participating in school sports and physical education programs. While these programs have numerous benefits, sports-related injuries are the most common cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds, sending millions of children to the ER annually. This makes sports-related injuries by far the most common injury sustained at school.
Contact or collision sports have higher rates of injuries than other activities. Football, basketball, baseball, and soccer causing about 80% of all sports-related ER visits. These injuries are more common in younger children, who do not have the reaction time, coordination, or accuracy of older children. So, they are more likely to make mistakes that lead to injury.
As a parent, you can reduce your child’s risk of injury by ensuring that he or she has a thorough physical exam before beginning any sport or other physical activity. You can also speak to the directors of your school’s athletic program to ensure that there are protocols in place to prevent injuries. These may include staff training, proper warmup and cool-down exercises, commitment to avoiding overexertion, and proper equipment maintenance.
If your child does sustain a sports-related injury, a NY personal injury attorney can help to determine whether the school may be held liable, and if so get your family the compensation it deserves.
Playground injuries are another common cause of back-to-school injuries, especially in younger children. In New York, playground injuries are more likely to occur in low-income areas. This is because, in low-income areas, equipment flaws, trash, and damaged or insufficient fall surfaces on playgrounds are more common.
The most common types of playground equipment to cause injuries are climbers, swings, slides, and overhead ladders, respectively. The most common types of playground injuries are fractures, contusions, lacerations, and strains and sprains.
You can help prevent playground injuries by ensuring that your school’s playground is safe. Check that equipment is adequately maintained, and that guardrails and ramps are stable. Make sure that there are safe surfaces below playground equipment to help break falls, such as mulch, sand, or shredded rubber. Also look for objects that could cause trips and falls, and pick up any trash or debris on the playground. Further, speak to the school to ensure that recess times are adequately supervised by adults, and that playground rules are strictly enforced.
If your child is injured on the playground, it is possible that the school’s negligence could be to blame. If you think this may be the case, seek the counsel of a New York personal injury attorney. They can determine if the school can be held liable and help your family receive compensation for your child’s injuries.
Most students carry backpacks to school to transport lunches, books and school supplies. However, it is common to overload backpacks, especially for older children carrying heavy textbooks. This or improper backpack use can lead to chronic back, neck and shoulder pain, or to poor posture.
To avoid backpack injuries, ensure that your child’s backpack does not weigh more than 10% of their body weight. Also make sure that your child carries the backpack with both straps. Further, avoid the use of messenger bags, which do not distribute weight evenly.
Alternatively, some backpacks and other school-related items may cause harm because they have been made improperly. Whatever the situation is, if you believe another is at fault, you owe it to your child and your family to speak with a knowledgeable injury attorney.