Time to Think Back to School Safety

Heading back to school is always a big event, no matter how old a student is. Students look forward to meeting new teachers, starting new classes and being reunited with friends.

But all this activity brings safety concerns. Yet if parents, teachers and students recognize the risks and work together, the Back-to-School season can be an enriching time. Here are some tips to keep your children safe:

Playgrounds. Each year, more than 200,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for falls on the playground. The goal is to implement preventative measures in your playground and make it as safe as possible if falls do occur.

Start by inspecting playground equipment for any defective or broken parts.There should be a 12-inch depth of wood chips, mulch or sand. Mats should be made of safety-tested rubber or fiber material to prevent head injury if a child falls.

Drawstrings on Jackets and Sweatshirts. Many pieces of fall clothing come with drawstrings. Most people think nothing of these until a child endangers himself or a classmate, often unknowingly.

Prevent a dangerous situation where a child gets strangled. Remove drawstrings on hoods. Cut drawstrings from the waist or bottom of jackets, coats and sweatshirts to three inches.

Loops on Window Blind Cords. Visit your child’s classroom to ensure it’s a safe environment. Look at the windows to see if they have blinds with a long cord. If there are blinds with cords, this is a safety hazard. A child could strangle himself when the teacher’s not looking or swallow the plastic piece at the end of the cord.

Bikes. Many students ride their bicycles to school. It’s important for drivers to watch out for them, but parents also need to educate students on how to avoid bike accidents. The first rules is bike helmets. Massachusetts has a mandatory bike law for minors under 16. Beyond the law, bike helmets prevent and reduce head injuries should your child take a fall.

To learn more about school safety, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission web page, “American Goes Back to School Program.”

The Boston personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck promote safety education for families, children and schools. The Massachusetts personal injury lawyers specialize in bike accidents, premises liability, product liability, automobile accidents and other cases. We serve communities throughout Massachusetts, from Springfield to Cape Cod to Worcester. If you have a case involving a personal injury, contact us today at (617) 723-7676.