They say your school years should be the best of your life and for many they are. As parents though, how can you be sure that school years are the safest of your kids’ lives?
Although each school has a duty of care towards its pupils, we all know accidents can happen at school. It is more likely to be the place kids will suffer an injury at some time or other – it’s where they spend most of their time, from the age of 5-17 after all. So, what are the most common causes of accidents at school?
Accidents in the school playground
While the simple spaces of traditional schoolyards still exist, many schools now provide play equipment and custom-designed features for children to enjoy which can include climbing frames and landscaping. Injuries suffered when using these are very common, e.g. a fall from a wall or play bars. Of course, cuts and bruises are part of growing up. But it’s still the school’s responsibility to make sure play areas are as safe as they can be for all children.
Slips or trips on school walking surfaces
Keeping schools clean, tidy and well-maintained is an endless task. Such maintenance can involve wet, slippery surfaces due to cleaning or polishing and uneven surfaces due to running repairs. This can often lead to slips and trips. Again, the school’s duty of care includes providing warnings about any potential dangers from surfaces as well as supervision of younger children.
Injuries on the school playing fields
Not every school is fortunate enough to have extensive grounds. But most will at least have access to a sports ground. Injuries caused during games are very common (and almost unavoidable). The school must have proper First Aid equipment and a documented procedure plus a qualified First Aider on hand to deal with any injuries sustained.
Accidents on school buses and trips
We don’t like to think about it, but accidents involving a school bus or during a school trip do sometimes happen. Although this may be outside the school premises, the school is still responsible for ensuring pupils remain safe, they are expected to take steps to prevent accidents, conduct risk assessments and have robust procedures in place that can be applied should something happen.
My child got hurt at school what can I do?
We all hope it doesn’t happen, but as we have seen, there are, unfortunately, many common accidents in schools. If your child is involved in an accident at school, or under the supervision of a teacher or adult, who have breached their duty of care, you may be able to claim compensation.
To help your case, you should report the accident to a teacher or another person of authority as soon as possible and make detailed notes of what’s happened along with the names of any witnesses. Seek advice from a personal injury solicitor experienced in school accident cases. Watermans Solicitors are experts in personal injury claims, so you can contact us with the exact details of the accident and injuries sustained to find out if you are entitled to compensation.