Teachers, principals, and other school officials work hard to make school a safe place for our children. Toys, books, and other classroom materials like scissors or paints are usually stored safely in secure cabinets, away from the child’s reach. In addition, teacher supervision is important if not critical in helping to keep our kids safe from personal injury.
When an accident does happen, it is tragic and frustrating for both schools and families alike. Now, in a case out of Oceanside, a family still grieves after their son choked on a pushpin at school, causing the young boy’s death.
The accident occurred earlier this year on August 8 after the child, Tyler Howell, 3, was left unsupervised in the bathroom where thumbtacks were in easily in reach, says the family. The parents have also expressed concern over the storage of the sharp objects, which should have ordinarily been stored in locked cabinet.
The family believes the accident could have been easily avoided.
In addition to seeking legal action against the school, the family also aims to get laws changed that would not allow thumbtacks in a preschool.
Parents: get involved at your child’s school
Open house: take advantage of it
What better time to discuss classroom safety with your child’s teacher than at open house? Take some time to ask your child’s teacher how the classroom is secured. Where are obvious threats like scissors or toxic paints and craft items stored? Are heavy bookcases strapped to the wall? Is there an emergency exit plan in place? These are all important questions to ask your child’s teacher.
Another recommendation is asking teachers about posted classroom rules. There should be obvious rules like “no running with scissors” but consider talking to your child’s teacher about non-conventional rules like bringing unapproved toys to school or sharing lunches. Even a life-threatening allergy such as milk or peanut reaction can be instantly dangerous to your child or other students.
Lastly, not only is it important to have classroom rules in place, but enforcement is also just as important. During open house, talk to your child’s teacher about how rules are enforced. What’s the classroom policy if a rule is broken? Are parents notified if their child breaks a rule? Students should have clear expectations in place in addition to consequences for rules that are broken. When parents get involved in the classroom, many accidents have the potential to be avoided.
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines
Children’s injuries are tragic for any family. We have helped many families throughout the San Diego area seek fair and maximum recovery for their child’s injury. If your child has been injured and you suspect it was due to someone else’s wrongdoing, we can help. Call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or submit your case online and we’ll answer all your legal questions for free.