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3 Things to Do First When Your Child Is Injured at School

Responding to an injured child requires special attention to his or her wounds as well as careful assessment of the situation. Following these three steps can help parents to provide an effective response to minimize immediate and long-term damage.

Get a Medical Evaluation

An injured child should be promptly evaluated by a medical practitioner. A school nurse, if available, might be the first person to examine the student. But if injuries are severe, such as heavy bleeding or breathing difficulties, an EMS or paramedic teams should be called to apply emergency procedures and transport the child to a nearby hospital if warranted. Uncertain injuries, such as a likely concussion after a fall off a playground swing, should also be checked by a nurse or doctor. If the initial exam leads to a need for follow-up evaluation or care, those should be done to ensure the child’s safety and well-being.

Request an Incident Report

Schools typically require an incident report to be submitted by the adult who was supervising the child at the time of the accident. This might be a playground monitor, a cafeteria worker, a janitor, a teacher, or a parent volunteer, among others. The school will likely have a specific form to be completed and signed by the adult. Parents should request a copy of the form, and may want to ask other children or teachers about their observations of the accident, if permitted to do so. If the injury resulted from someone breaking a civil law, such as teen fighting, drug use, or weapon assault, local police should be contacted to make their own official report, including possible witness statements.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Even if it appears that the child’s injuries are minor or hardly noticeable, symptoms may appear later, requiring future medical attention. For this and other reasons it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer about the incident. The attorney can explain relevant laws that may pertain to the situation or the child’s injury and medical care, as well as legal rights and duties of the school and parents. Further, the child’s parents will be able to inquire what, if any, responsibility the school may bear for the injury and resulting treatments or effects on the student.

A child injured at school is a cause for parental concern. Following the above steps may help to limit the extent of any ill effects and determine whether the school is culpable for the incident.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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