Many children love their recess time, but playground accidents account for many injuries in preschools and elementary schools. In order to have peace of mind that everything is being done to protect your child while they play on the playground, you should talk to your child’s teachers and other school employees. Issues with the playground or improper supervision can lead to injuries. Preventing these injuries can be possible with the right equipment/supervision. If an injury has already occurred, you can learn more about how to proceed here.
Common Playground Injuries
If your child was injured on a playground, they probably experienced one of these common playground injuries:
- Concussion from a fall.
- Broken or sprained bone from a fall.
- Scrapes or bruises.
- Splinters from wooden equipment that is not well maintained.
- Swollen body parts from banging into hard equipment.
- Pinched fingers or arms from swing sets.
- Friction burns.
- Bloody noses.
If your child experienced one of these injuries or a more serious injury, the school nurse should take a look at their injuries. You might also consider taking your child to the doctor to make sure that their injuries are properly taken care of.
Fault: Premises Liability
Schools that have playgrounds have a care of duty towards their students. This care of duty needs to prevent foreseeable accidents that could occur on the property. Failure to do this means that the school is at-fault for the child’s injury.
To file a lawsuit based on premises liability, the following must be true:
- The school was in charge of the playground. It was the school’s responsibility to provide upkeep to the playground.
- The injured child could be expected to use the playground. So, they need to be a student at the school using the playground at a reasonable time (during their recess period).
- The school did not care for the playground and the children enough.
- Your child got injured in a way that the school could and should have foreseen.
- Carelessness of the school contributed to the injury.
If these elements are true, the school has been negligent. Your family can sue the school in this situation and could receive compensation for damages to your child.
Fault: Improper Supervision of Students
Another popular way that a school may be at fault for your child’s playground injury is if the school staff did not properly supervise your child and other children on the playground. School staff members such as teachers act in loco parentis, which means that they act in place of you, as the child’s parent. This means that school staff are responsible for keeping your child safe while they are at school. They need to take reasonable action to prevent foreseeable accidents and issues.
You could have a case to sue based on the negligence of school staff members if:
- The school staff member(s) agreed to take care of your child.
- They subsequently did not safely and properly watch your child.
- This inattentiveness resulted in the injury to your child.
If these three elements are present, you could sue the school staff or the school for their negligence.