In most countries around the world, children are required by government agencies to attend public – or private, if they’re fortunate enough – school for more than ten years, typically until they’re 18 years of age. Kids are vulnerable, and even though nationalities mandate attendance or face parents with financial penalties and jail time, educational institutions harbor countless responsibilities regarding their adolescent enrollees’ safety.
Schools that are found liable for ailments, illnesses, and injuries may be faced with lawsuits that potentially result in thousands of dollars in damages, if not more. Even though each child will, in fact, experience scrapes, slices, burns, cuts, or broken bones, among innumerable other playground accidents and injuries from physical activities or roughhousing, countless school kids around the world are faced with serious, potentially life-threatening injury. Let’s dig into the most common accidents at school, and a few ways in which they can be prevented.
1. Falling from swing sets
Swing sets are playground staples at virtually every school with enough funding to purchase books and desks or pay teachers’ salaries. Most people’s childhood memories involve swinging with close friends and peers, competing against one another in aiming to go parallel with the ground, or even higher in the air. While cautious children are aware of this activity’s potential detrimental outcomes, not every young person chooses to refrain from such dangerous activity.
As most schools have hundreds of children on their expansive playgrounds at a time, they must have enough teachers to appropriately supervise their students. Teachers should be in full view of every swing set, disciplining children if they engage in competition with others to see who swings the highest – and most dangerously. Children should also be informed of the dangers of swinging so high, in person by their instructors and through signs posted on or near swing equipment.
Even though bullying often causes negative mental outcomes more than their physical counterpart, they might cause physical injury. As children often aren’t fully aware of their outward image, teachers, aides, principals, and supervisors are usually able to prevent child-on-child injuries before they occur. Teachers should separate children that have proven to not like one another, to the point where they physically injury one another or encourage other to do so. Watching out for screaming, yelling, and name-calling between two individuals or groups of children is also effective in preventing injuries caused by personal attacks and deliberate bullying.
In cases where there is no recorded history of bullying or personal problems with one another, schools are generally clear of public liability. However, bullying sucks and should be screened out before it happens with a proverbial fine-toothed comb.
3. Broken, failing, and faulty equipment
Unfortunately for teachers, parents, children, and the municipalities they reside in, many schools are underfunded, failing to receive sufficient capital for serving the entirety of students’ needs. As playground equipment isn’t directly related to the learning process, at least as how integral books and classroom learning materials are, it’s sometimes overlooked by administrators and the teachers most familiar with them.
Teachers aren’t experienced in construction, remodeling, or equipment repair – in general, at least – birthing the need for hiring experienced maintenance workers to inspect playground equipment on a regular basis. Rather than responding to equipment after it falls apart or starts to deteriorate, groundskeepers should perform thorough walkthroughs around playgrounds, an effective way of preventing injury at school.
4. Chains, ropes, and clothing can potentially strangle innocent children
Strangulation, almost always never occurring as a result of child-on-child misconduct, can quickly cause permanent brain and nervous system damage to victims, if not resulting in loss of life. If an educational institution is involved in a child losing consciousness or their precious, innocent spark of life due to strangulation, a majority of cases result in that school liable for student injury.
While teachers have stressful jobs and generally prefer to socialize with other faculty and staff members during recess or physical activity periods, it’s vital that they spread out across the perimeter of playgrounds to equally distribute their supervision. School policy should prevent children from wearing clothing with hoods during school-approved physical activity periods,
5. Tall, slippery slides
Slides are fun, however dangerous. Schools should make sure slides aren’t more than six feet from the ground, are surrounded with safe, squishy flooring material, and only allow one child per slide at a time.
The bottom line
Teachers, students, and administrators strive to maintain the welfare of their enrollees. However, the playground is home to more accidents in adolescents than any other area. As personal injury suits can imprison faculty and slam institutions with hefty fines, it’s important to keep these five common causes of injury in mind when planning preventative measures.
About the author: Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about travelling, lifestyle and encouraging startups. As a freelancer, she understands the importance of productivity at work. Riya never stopped finding new ways to create her work productivity. Twitter, @sanderriya.