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How can I Avoid a Back-to-School Accident?

As summer comes to a close, it is time for kids to go back to school. It is important to practice safety and health practices when students return to school. Being thoughtful and prepared can help avoid accidents, injuries, and illnesses.

How can Bicyclists and Pedestrians Stay Safe?

In September, traffic conditions change, so it is important to always focus on the road in order to prevent a car accident or a pedestrian accident. Drivers need to get used to sharing the road with pedestrians and bicyclists. Make sure to give bicyclists and pedestrians plenty of room. When opening a car door into a traffic lane, look behind to see whether a cyclist is approaching, and wait for them to pass before opening the door.

Other safety precautions include yielding to pedestrians and avoid passing vehicles that are stopped for crossing pedestrians. Do not block crosswalks or double-park.

Safety while walking to school requires students to know basic traffic rules. Kids should always use sidewalks, and if one is not available, a student should walk facing traffic. Students must remember to look both ways before crossing streets, too. It is also very important for kids to avoid distractions. Using cellphones or headphones while walking is dangerous.

Safely riding a bike to school requires knowledge of bike safety requirements, including always wearing a helmet, riding in the direction of traffic, and using proper hand signals when turning. Multiple riders must ride in a single file.

All students should know their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, and when to call 911 in case an accident does occur.

What Safety Precautions Should be Exercised in School Zones?

Those driving kids to school need to get used to the new traffic flow and get familiar with the school pick-up and drop-off procedures. School zones can be particularly difficult to maneuver.

When everyone is trying to get in and out as quickly as possible, the school zone can get crowded and chaotic. A specific well-marked drop-off and pick-up area located away from the primary entrance is best. Requiring a low speed limit, such as 20 mph or less, and having school attendants directing traffic is very helpful.

Even if optimal school zone conditions are not met, drivers can do their part by being familiar with the school zone and try to arrive early. Do not double-park or drop kids off where they have to cross congested streets.

One of the most important things to do is to avoid distracted driving. Cellphones and headphones are responsible for many traffic accidents. Distracted driving in school zones where pedestrian traffic is heavy endangers drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Demonstrating distracted driving behaviors to children is also likely to make them believe that the behavior is acceptable. Parents should always set a good example.

What Accidents can Occur on School Grounds?

Slip and fall accidents are common on school grounds. Kids running up and down steps and playing in the playground provide ample opportunities for tripping.

Sports activities also injure many students. Many schools teach team sports and interscholastic sports activities.

How can Students Prevent Sports Injuries?

All sports have a level of risk. To minimize the risk, be sure that kids are outfitted with the proper attire. They should use only unbroken, well fitted, and properly maintained gear. Some equipment, such as football helmets, must meet minimum safety criteria. Be sure the equipment meets all necessary standards.  The school-provided equipment should be well maintained and properly set up.

In all sports, it is important that the pace of progress is moderated properly by coaches. For kids who have not been actively performing sports, it is important to start off slowly and build conditioning. Make sure kids are not pressed too hard by overzealous coaching. Let them know that they must listen to their bodies and not play if injured. It is also important for them to remain hydrated.

How can Students Reduce Heat Exposure?

Playing outside during recess, gym, or organized sports carries the risk of heat exposure. Kids should know to keep hydrated when exerting themselves in these conditions. If the temperature is high, especially when paired with humidity, it is possible for kids exercising outside to get overheated. They should be aware of symptoms of heat exhaustion, including faintness, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and a rapid pulse. The immediate response should be to discontinue the activity, move to a cooler area, and drink water. If the symptoms do not subside quickly, the child should get medical attention immediately.

Another danger is heat stroke. In this condition, the body loses its ability to regulate temperature. Core body temperature can get as high as 104 degrees or higher. This condition can cause brain damage and can also be fatal if not addressed immediately.

Precautions to take includes avoiding sports and outdoor activities when it is very hot outside. Getting cooled off in the shade and placing a cool damp cloth on the neck or wrist can help cool down body temperature. It is very important to keep hydrated when outside in hot weather. Another precaution is to wear loose fitting and light-colored clothing.

Safety Precautions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This school session will be like no other. It is extremely important that students and administrators follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to ensure that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) does not spread. These guidelines include frequent handwashing, wearing masks, and social distancing. If a student is participating in remote learning, parents should review cyber safety and also follow CDC guidelines.

If a school does not follow proper safety procedures or address hazards, it is advisable to talk to a lawyer about filing a personal injury suit.

Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Provide Effective Legal Representation to Injured Students

If you or your child incurred injuries on school grounds, it is beneficial to speak to a lawyer. Contact one of our experienced Delaware personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow for legal counsel. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

Statement Regarding Coronavirus Disease ("Covid-19"):
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A Message to Our Clients: We Are Here to Help You.

The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus changes daily. During this uncertain time, we can assure you that the team at Rhoades & Morrow continues to focus on helping our current clients as well as assisting new clients.

We know that legal questions still arise, and we are here to answer your questions and provide the trusted guidance that you have come to expect from us over the years. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients, we are conducting virtual consultations via Zoom and by telephone. We also have the ability to exchange documents via secure e-mail.

We will continue to work to protect the rights of our clients. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online.

We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and healthy.