When you send your child to school, you want to know that they’re safe. School is an environment where you expect trained professionals to watch over your children while they learn and play and where you can feel confident that your child is protected. This is why it’s so jarring if you get a call stating that your child has been hurt while they were at school. Whether your child has already been injured, or you’re just looking to have a plan in place in case it happens, here are three steps you can take if your child is injured while at school.
Figure out the extent of your child’s injuries
Most times, injuries at school are minor. Children can trip and fall, or not be mindful of where they’re going or how rough they’re playing. The school will still be required to contact you, which could send you into a spiral of worry. Try not to let your mind get ahead of itself until you’re at the school and you see how bad it is.
Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion on your child’s injuries. The school may downplay the incident. This isn’t because they are being secretive, but most likely because they feel bad about your child being injured and are hoping it’s not too bad. If there is any severe bruising, bleeding, or visible injuries, you should photograph them, so you have evidence of what your child looked like when you picked them up from school.
If there’s no need for immediate medical attention and it’s the first time it’s happened, the injuries are most likely insubstantial and should be chalked up to an accident. However, if the injuries are severe or life-threatening, or it’s the first time it’s happened, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss negligence.
Find out if someone’s at fault.
If your child is seriously injured, find out if one specific person was at fault or negligent. Was your child given unsafe equipment to play with, or was rough play being encouraged or bullying not dealt with? If so, then you will need to document as much as you can and get witness statements to make a case. This may be tricky if the school is attempting to protect itself and knows their actions were negligent.
If your state permits it, record conversations you have with people about the incident who may have seen it. Again, this is not always legal in some states, so discuss it with your lawyer or the police before moving forward.
Talk to your child’s doctors about the injury and get as much information as possible from them about future repercussions and their insight on what may have happened to cause the injury.
Consider legal proceedings
If someone was negligent or the school is responsible for your child’s injury, you should look into holding them legally accountable. Talk to a personal injury lawyer about filing a lawsuit and recouping some of the money you may have lost due to medical bills or time off work caring for your little one while they recover. If your child’s injuries mean that there will be long-lasting repercussions, take that into account as well.
While it’s a situation any parent dreads, if your child is injured while at school it’s best that you know how to proceed from that situation then just letting your emotions overwhelm you.