But as your family becomes comfortable with their school schedule, it’s important that you don’t also become relaxed when it comes to safety. Every year, an estimated 25 percent of child injuries and accidents occur in and around schools. To ensure a safe back-to-school season, it’s important that you and your youngsters remain aware of the risks and hazards that arise when children go back to school.
We’ve listed five of the most common back-to-school injuries and illnesses below, along with safety tips for students on avoiding them.
Auto accidents. As Florida roads flood with cars, bikes, and buses full of children on their way to school, the opportunity for accidents increases. No matter how your child gets to school, it’s essential that you and your kids pay extra attention during morning and afternoon commutes. Use extreme caution when driving in a school zone, making an effort to drive slowly and watch for children who are biking, walking, or crossing the street on their way to or from school.
Bus accidents. It is estimated that as many as 5,000 kids are injured in school bus-related accidents every year. The majority of these incidents occur as students enter or exit the bus, since bus drivers typically have a blind spot of around 10 feet. In order to prevent bus-related accidents, teach your youngsters to remain in plain sight of the driver and wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before trying to climb on or off.
Pedestrian accidents. With one of the highest rates of pedestrian accidents in the country, Florida is notoriously dangerous for pedestrians. If your children walk to school, you should invest extensive time and energy in teaching them safe walking practices. Practice walking the route to school several times with your kids, urging them to stick to sidewalks, use crosswalks, and look both ways before crossing roads.
Playground accidents. Playground injuries—including bumps, bruises, scrapes, head injuries, and broken bones— are the most common school-related injuries for students aged 5 through 14. Every year, playground injuries send as many as 200,000 youngsters to the emergency room, according to a report from Healthgrades. Check with the school to ensure that children at play are supervised by a trustworthy adult at all times, and examine the school’s playground to check for hazards such as broken or rusted equipment.
Biking injuries. Florida roadways can be treacherous for young cyclists, especially during morning and afternoon commutes as hundreds of vehicles make their way to school and work. Accompany your kids on bike trips to school until they are familiar with the route, traffic rules, and safe bike practices. Make sure your young cyclists know how to indicate right turn, left turn, and stop using hand signals. And—of course—never let your kids ride their bike without wearing a proper helmet.
You can significantly minimize the chance of back-to-school accidents and injuries by educating your youngsters about common risks and safe practices. Unfortunately, sometimes bad things occur that are beyond your control. If your child is injured in a back-to-school accident, contact a compassionate Florida child injury attorney. Your attorney will be able to help you seek compensation for medical bills and other costs related to recovery, while working with you to raise awareness about an unsafe condition in order to make your community a safer place for youngsters.
About the Author:
Since 1994, seasoned litigation and trial lawyer Anthony B. White has helped thousands of accident victims seek damages due to injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and selected to the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of Florida Super Lawyers, Mr. White specializes in car accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. He is a longstanding member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Justice Association.