What Steps Can I Take If My Child Is Hurt at School?
When you drop off your child at school, you hope that he or she will learn, so that he or she can take on the world someday. For eight hours, your child’s safety is in the care of other adults and educators. You’re most likely still stressed about your child’s well-being, even though he or she is in good care. But what happens if your child does get hurt at school? What steps should you take?
Identify If Your Child Is Hurt
The first thing to do is to identify if your child has been hurt because of an occurrence at school. The easiest thing you can do is assess your child’s behavior/appearance and compare it to how he or she looked/acted in the morning/daily. Strange behaviors or marks won’t always mean “hurt” (children are children after all), but you should be on the lookout for peculiarities.
The California Department of Education offers some signs that a child may be showing if hurt (or abused). Signs of injuries won’t always be visible, so it is important to be alert to your child.
These signs can include:
- Exhibiting bruises or scratches that were not present before.
- Hiding bruises or shying away from conversation about bruises.
- Withdrawing from conversation (especially concerning questions about being hurt).
- Telling you about an incident.
And of course, if your child is outright telling you about an incident, it is important to listen to your child. You should remain calm (even though it will be hard), so as not to scare the child. Be sure to make note of people, places, and other important information.
Seek Professional Treatment
After identifying the harm or hearing about it from your child, your first concern should always be your child’s health and well-being. Be sure to take your child to a doctor or hospital to assess and remedy any injuries. You should keep all the medical documents and bills in a safe place, in case you need them for future purposes.
Next you will want to identify if legal help is needed. If the incident included your child being rambunctious on the playground (like jumping from table to table), the school will probably not be liable; however, there are situations when the school should be held accountable.
For example, if the school violates the Safe Place to Learn Act, your concerns may be valid. Under this act, schools work to reduce harassment and violence, so that every child has the same opportunity to learn. This includes education staff reporting any bullying or harm done to a child, if they see it.
Getting Legal Help
If legal help is needed, you should seek someone who is knowledgeable of the special circumstances in laws that relate to schools.
The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV recognizes these circumstances and can be of assistance. If your child was hurt at school, contact us at (888) 454-5569 to see if we can help.