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  • Coping With Work-Related Head Injuries

    Work-related head injuries can lead to physical, mental, and financial hardships for an employee. A work injury attorney can file a workers compensation claim and ensure that fair benefits are received.

    Common Workplace Head Injuries

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over three million workers suffered non-fatal head injuries while on the job in 2014. Work-related head injuries are among the most serious type of non-fatal injury that a person can sustain, because they often have the potential to lead to long-term physical, mental, and financial problems.  A variety of accidents can cause work-related head injuries:

    • Slip and Fall Accidents – Slip and fall accidents are consistently among the most common causes of serious work-related head injuries. There are often caused by liquid spills, cracked pavement, torn carpet, inadequate lighting, and snow and ice.
    • Motor Vehicle Accidents – Many employment positions require employees to drive motor vehicles as part of their daily duties. Truckers, delivery drivers and construction workers are especially vulnerable to accidents that can result in serious head injuries.
    • Defective Work Equipment – In many cases, work-related head injuries are caused by defective work tools and equipment used in the workplace. When such injuries occur, a work injury attorney can file a lawsuit against the equipment manufacturer, as well as the employer.
    • Explosions – Certain industries such as industrial manufacturing and construction often use materials that have the potential to explode under certain conditions. Flying debris and falls due to the impact of the blast often cause head injuries.

    Complications From Head Injuries

    Work-related head injuries can result in a variety of complications, their severity is proportionate to the severity of the accident. Some of the more common complications associated with severe head injuries include: headaches and dizziness; difficulty concentrating; sensitivity to light and sound; speech and vision impairments; balance problems; sleep disturbances; changes in behavior; depression; and seizures. Subdural hematomas, common in serious head injuries, result in bleeding between the brain and the inside of the skull. The increased accumulation of blood increases pressure on the brain and puts the injury victim at a higher risk of losing consciousness or death.

    Work-related head injuries are often serious or fatal. Many injured employees require physical or mental rehabilitation before returning to work. With severe injuries, months or years may pass before the injured employee is able to fully recover from his/her injuries, and some injuries result in partial or total permanent disability.

     

  • How Safe is Your Child’s Daycare?

    Thousands of children suffer injuries in daycare homes and facilities across the United States every year. Although some of these injuries are simple bumps, bruises or scrapes that require simple first aid or no follow-up care at all, others are so severe that victims require emergency medical intervention. In some situations, these young children lose their lives. To help protect children from the dangers that might be lurking in child care settings, parents and caregivers should familiarize themselves with common safety concerns and how to address them.

    Common Safety Concerns in Daycare Settings

    There are a number of factors that parents and caregivers should consider to help ensure that children are as safe as possible in their daycare setting. Some of the biggest concerns include:

    • Supervision: The lack of adequate supervision by competent adults can pose a significant threat to the safety of children. In Illinois, acceptable caregiver-to-child ratios are very specific. For children who are 14 months old or younger, for example, the ratio is one caregiver for every four children. As children grown older, the ratio changes and by the time a child reaches kindergarten age, a single provider can watch as many as 20 children. Even with ratio compliance, however, it is important to evaluate the interaction that staff members have with the children to ensure they are being adequately supervised.
    • Basic Medical Training: Accidents can and often do happen in daycare settings. When correct first aid and CPR techniques are not performed, however, these incidents can lead to serious consequences or even fatality. It is essential that caregivers are sufficiently trained to effectively respond when emergencies happen. Illinois requires that a caregiver who is certified in the Heimlich maneuver, first aid and CPR be present at all times. In facilities where infants and newborns are cared for, all staff members must be trained about Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and safe sleep recommendations. When evaluating a daycare facility, parents should request to view copies of certifications and additional training.
    • Medications and Chemicals: Accidental poisoning is one of the leading causes of serious injury and fatality among young children in the United States. Medications, cleaning supplies and other household chemicals should be kept in locked, childproof containers or cabinets. Additionally, when medications must be administered it is essential that caregivers have written authorization and instructions from a parent regarding proper dosage. Medications and other hazardous chemicals should always be stored in their original containers and away from food or drink products.
    • CPSC Hazards: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) continuously tests products and recalls those that are found to be unsafe. Parents and caregivers alike should stay updated on product recalls and be sure these products are not being used. Additionally, the CPSC responds to customer complaints and even maintains a playground safety checklist to help ensure that children are safe in daycares, schools and at home. According to the CPSC, approximately two-thirds of licensed child care settings that were studied had at least one targeted hazard. In 1999, Illinois enacted the Children’s Product Safety Act (CPSA), which prohibits the use of recalled products in daycare facilities.
    • Background Checks: In Illinois, caregivers are subject to background checks to reveal any record of child abuse, neglect, or other criminal convictions. While this law is designed to ensure that children in daycare settings are not exposed to dangerous individuals, it is not bulletproof because not every incident leads to a conviction or even a report. Therefore parents should familiarize themselves with the signs of possible abuse or neglect and report any concerns to the authorities. Possible signs to watch for include unexplained or frequent injuries, a child’s fear of going to daycare, sudden aggression displayed by the child, and changes in toilet training habits.
    • Open Door Policy: Parents should be allowed, and even encouraged to observe their children’s daycare setting both before and after enrollment. Many modern daycare facilities even offer online, live access to a secure portal so they can observe their child throughout the day. When a provider is hesitant or refuses to allow a parent access to the daycare setting during operating hours, it should send a red flag to parents. During an observation of the home or facility, parents should be aware of the way staff members interact with children, discuss emergency plans and procedures, watch for signs of potential hazards, and ask lots of questions about disciplinary procedures, staff training, and any other concerns. Many parents may also find it comforting to speak with other children’s parents and ask for references from former clients.

    More than 500,000 Illinois children under five years old attend some type of daycare. It is hoped that by increasing public awareness about the common safety concerns encountered in daycare facilities, each and every one of these children will be safe from harm.

  • The Liability of “Good Samaritans” In Illinois

    Good samaritans are defined as individuals who render aid and assistance to individuals in the midst of emergency situations. Illinois law provides protections for individuals who offer this assistance, however, there are exceptions to the rule and not every action is protected under the law.

    Emergency Room Physicians

    The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that emergency physicians can be held liable for negligence if they are paid for their services by either the hospital or the patient. The law only shields volunteer physicians, nurses, and other licensed medical personnel only if they do not bill or receive payment of any kind for the services they provide to an injured person.

    Physicians can also be held liable if they initiate inappropriate actions while rendering emergency aid at the site of an accident or catastrophe. For example, a physician who reads an injured person’s medical alert bracelet indicating an allergy to aspirin prior to administering a dose of aspirin. Such blatant disregard for the person’s safety would disqualify them from protection under the Illinois Good Samaritan Act.

    Willful or Wanton Misconduct

    Willful and wanton misconduct on the part of volunteer medical personnel or private citizen rendering aid disqualifies the individual for protection under the Illinois Good Samaritan Act. For example, if a volunteer surgeon conducts a wrong-site surgery or if a volunteer nurse deliberately fails to properly clean a wound that then becomes infected.

    Another example of willful or wanton misconduct includes individuals who come across accidents and whose actions cause further injuries or the death of the victim. For example, if a passerby responding to an accident was smoking a cigarette even as the smell of spilled fuel permeated the air. Should that cigarette ignite the fuel and the ensuing fire burn the injured party, the “volunteer” could be held liable for their negligence.

    Write Off’s & Unpaid Bills

    A physician cannot utilize the good samaritan defense even if the patient has failed to pay their medical bill. The fact that the physician’s office sent the bill in the first place shows that their services were contracted and not volunteered. The same is true if the physician offers the patient a discount for services, or if the physician’s office writes the medical bills off as uncollectible.

    Individuals injured by “good samaritans” should speak with the best personal injury attorney to discuss the merits of their claim. The law allows injured parties to pursue compensation stemming from actions that did far more harm than good.

     

  • Playing it Safe at the Playground

    Every year, more than 200,000 children between the ages of 1 and 14 are seen in emergency rooms due to playground injuries in the United States. Many of these injuries are life-altering or even deadly. To help ensure that kids stay safe at the playground, parents and caregivers should consider the following tips.

    Playground Supervision

    Adequate supervision is essential for preventing injuries at the playground. In fact, Safe Kids Worldwide reports that approximately 45 percent of serious playground injuries are associated with the lack of proper supervision. Children cannot always identify playground hazards or foresee dangerous situations by themselves, and some children tend to test their limits or show off their abilities by taking unsafe risks. Young children should always be supervised by a competent adult when playing at the playground.

    Play Equipment Inspection

    Parents and caregivers should always conduct a thorough inspection of all equipment before allowing their children to play. They should be on the lookout for broken or damaged parts, rusted areas, missing or loose guardrails, and older equipment with unsafe designs. Well-maintained, modern playground equipment is designed for safe play. Unfortunately, not all playgrounds are designed and maintained in the safest manner possible.

    Inspection of the Surrounding Area

    Areas underneath and surrounding play equipment should be inspected as well. Ground surfaces should be covered with a soft material like wood chips, mulch, or sand. They should also be free from trash, excessive toys, and other objects. Additionally, parents should make children aware of tree stumps, rocks, or other hazards that might hinder safe play.

    Dressing Appropriately for the Playground

    Parents and caregivers should ensure that their children wear appropriate clothing and shoes when headed to the playground to prevent injuries. Items such as drawstrings, scarves, purses, and necklaces can get caught on equipment and cause falls or strangulation. Additionally, dangling shoelaces, flip flops, and shoes with slick soles should be avoided.

    Setting Rules and Limitations

    It is essential for parents and caregivers to enforce safe playground rules to keep kids safe. Pushing, shoving, our crowding should be prohibited and children should avoid playing on equipment that is not age, size and ability appropriate.

    Being Prepared at the Playground

    It is a good idea for parents, caregivers, and older children to learn how to respond in the event of a playground emergency. They should also familiarize themselves with basic first aid and CPR just in case tragedy strikes.

     

  • How Truck Drivers’ Health Conditions Pose Risks to Others

    The sedentary nature of truck drivers’ jobs increases their incidence of health problems which, in turn, raises the probability of them causing a motor vehicle accident. Truck drivers are forced to sit for lengthy time periods, and the nature of their jobs also make them likelier to have poor sleeping and eating habits. The combination of these characteristics results in truck drivers developing medical problems at higher rates than others. A recent study showed that drivers who have three medical conditions are four times as likely to be involved in accidents than do healthier drivers. Accident lawyers represent victims who have been injured by truck drivers whose medical problems lead them to cause trucking accidents.

    The Problem

    Researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine noted several medical conditions that cause drivers to have poorer driving performances. These conditions include low back problems, diabetes, heart disease and others. The researchers then reviewed the records of 50,000 commercial drivers. They found that 34 percent of the drivers suffered from at least one of the conditions with some suffering from more than one. When the researchers compared the drivers’ medical histories with their accident records, they found that drivers who suffered from three of the medical conditions had up to four times greater likelihood of crash involvement than did healthier drivers.

    Among drivers overall, the crash rate was 39 wrecks for every one hundred million miles traveled. Among truck drivers who suffered from three or more flagged medical conditions, the crash rate was 93 wrecks for every one hundred million miles traveled. The researchers controlled for other factors that may also lead to accidents in the study, including experience and age.

    What Can Be Done?

    Accident lawyers believe that more can be done to both help prevent work-related diseases in truck drivers as well as to prevent truck accidents caused by poor health. Truck drivers should have preventative medical care available to help them avoid developing these conditions. Regulations should be passed to encourage better sleep and to provide more frequent breaks. Carriers should provide opportunities to truck drivers to participate in regular exercise and should encourage healthy eating habits. Unfortunately, the current political climate is trending towards reducing the number of trucking regulations, meaning that the causes of these accidents are unlikely to be meaningfully addressed.

    The Ankin Law Office represents injured plaintiffs in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases.

     

  • When Pro-Athletes Become Injured

    Today’s professional athletes often spend their time performing extensive, physically demanding and dangerous activities anytime they train, practice or compete. Although their bodies are typically conditioned to withstand the demands of their sport, these athletes are not invincible. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that sports competitors and professional athletes suffer over 2,000 serious injuries per 10,000 workers each year. This places sports in the top five when it comes to occupations with the most injuries.

    Football: Injuries on the Field

    Football has long been recognized as a dangerous sport for amateurs and professional athletes alike, and despite numerous efforts to increase safety on the field, players continue to suffer catastrophic injuries every year. Official reports from the National Football League (NFL) state that within the first two weeks of the season, approximately 15 percent of professional football players have already suffered an injury. While some injuries are fairly minor and recovery is quick, others result in severe impairments, long term disabilities, and sometimes even death. Head, neck, and knee injuries are some of the most common serious injuries sustained by players, and these injuries can sometimes take victims out of the game for good. For a few, repetitive injuries sustained during years of participating in the sport can cost them their lives. A study released in 2015 revealed that out of 91 NLF players who were deceased, a disturbing 87 tested positive for a brain disease that has been linked to repetitive head trauma (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).

    Baseball: Diamonds in the Dust

    Professional baseball players often suffer severe injuries that sideline them, and sometimes their careers, as well. According to studies published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, about 51.4 percent of Major League Baseball injuries were to the upper extremities, while 30.6 percent were to the lower extremities. Pitchers were at the highest risk of injury, accounting for about 34 percent more injuries than fielders, and they suffered a significantly higher number of injuries to the upper extremity (67 percent). Fielders, however, were more likely to suffer injuries to the lower extremity, accounting for about 47.5 percent. While professional baseball players are much less likely than football players to lose their lives while participating in practice or a game, many times their injuries are so severe that they become unable to continue their careers.

    Basketball: Catastrophe on the Court

    With teams playing demanding, 82-game seasons, participating in off-season play and rigorous practices, injuries are common for players in the NBA. Serious lower extremity injuries account for about 72 percent of all injuries that result in games missed due to injury. While ankle injuries are the most common occurrence, injuries that affect the patella and the knee are responsible for the most time away from the court. Although some of these injuries are treated fairly quickly, others are so severe that players’ careers are cut short. Many are forced to endure long-term pain and extensive medical and rehabilitative treatments.

    Injured Pro-Athletes and Workers Compensation

    Workers compensation generally provides two types of benefits to victims of work injuries: medical benefits and wage replacement. In Illinois, wage replacement benefits are designed to provide wage differential for victims to compensate for lost income- even if the worker is capable of other, lower paying work. The workers compensation laws in Illinois are currently some of the most generous in the nation, with victims receiving wage differential payments until age 67. Additionally, injured workers are able to receive approximately two-thirds of the difference in lost wages. This amount is currently capped at $1,075 per week, or $55,900 each year.

    A recent proposal, if passed however, could limit the duration of wage replacement benefits for professional athletes in Illinois. Advocates of the proposal claim that since no pro-athlete plays sports until the age of 67 (except possibly golfers), the benefits should only be paid up to the age of 35, or five years from the date the incident occurred. They argue that this limit will more accurately reflect the term of a professional sports career.

    Is the Proposal Fair to Professional Athletes?

    Those who oppose this proposal have stated that although many pro-athletes end their careers at around age 35, $55,900 is a mere fraction of what these victims could have expected to earn each year had they not suffered serious injury. An injured running back, for instance, who is injured on the field could lose around 90 percent of his income each year- an amount that quickly adds up over the course of his lifetime. And by limiting benefits to age 35, the injured athlete will likely earn far less through age 67 than he would have earned in a more typical profession.

    If passed, the legislation will not limit wage replacement benefits for victims who are unable to any job due to their injuries.

     

  • Young Athletes and Sport Related Injuries

    Roughly 30 million children engage in sporting activities and each year these young athletes experience millions of injuries. Approximately 775,000 children under the age of 14 visit emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year. A further 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctors visits are needed to assist children between the ages of 14-19 with recovering from their injuries. Nationwide, nearly 1/3 of all recorded childhood injuries are caused by participation in sporting events.

    Playing a Dangerous Game

    While every sport involves the risk of injury, some sports are inherently more dangerous than others. For example, contact sports such as football, wrestling, and hockey have higher rates of injury than sports such as baseball, golf, and tennis.

    Basketball – Children between the ages of 5-19 suffer more than 375,000 basketball-related injuries each year. That’s equivalent to about 15% of all players within the demographic. The most common injuries are strains and sprains of the lower extremities, followed by fractures and dislocations. Of considerable concern is the fact that the number of traumatic brain injuries is increasing. From 1997 to 2007, instances of TBI increased more than 70%.

    Baseball – Slightly more than 100,000 children between the ages of 5 to 14 are treated in emergency rooms for baseball-related injuries each year. Common injuries include strains, sprains, and broken arms/legs. Up to 25 of players between the ages of 5 to 14 are injured each year. Since 2000, rates of elbow and shoulder injuries have risen more than 500%.

    Moreover, many children experience traumatic brain injury when they are struck with either the bat or the ball. The sport has one of the highest fatality rates of all sports and each year 3 to 4 children under the age of 14 die while playing the game.

    Cycling – Each year, 200,000 children are treated for cycling related injuries. These injuries include strains, sprains, broken bones, and severe lacerations. Use of safety equipment such as helmets and pads has helped reduce fatality rates by 92% since 1975. However, it is still considered one of the most dangerous youth sports and roughly 13 per 100,000 children are hospitalized each year with cycling related injuries.

    Hockey – Roughly 20,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 are injured in hockey-related accidents each year. Common injuries include broken bones, fractures, and traumatic brain injury.

    Football – Between 2005 and 2014, 92 teenagers died as a result of playing High School football. These players died because of indirect injuries such as exhaustion leading to heart attack or dehydration leading to organ failure.

    During that same period, 24 players died as the result of direct injuries caused by the crushing impacts that are the hallmark of the sport. These players suffered severe spinal injuries or traumatic brain injuries that claimed their lives. Nationwide, it is estimated that 28% of players ages 5 to 14 will be injured while playing football.

    Gymnastics – From 1990 to 2005, slightly less than 426,000 children between the ages of 6 and 17 suffered gymnastics-related injuries. It’s a statistic that represents an average of 5 injuries per 1,000 gymnasts. Common injuries include head/neck trauma, concussions, strains, sprains, and broken bones. Approximately 40% of these injuries occur in the course of school sanctioned events or gymnastics programs.

    Skiing/Snowboarding – Approximately 25,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 are injured while skiing each year. Common injuries include broken bones, concussions, and exposure.

    Practice Makes Problems

    While many assume that gameplay is the most dangerous activity, the reality is that 62% of injuries occur during practice. The reason for this is because many players, parents, and coaches fail to take the same precautions and utilize the same required safety equipment during practices that are required during official gameplay.

    Pursuing Claims for Injuries

    A personal injury attorney for the parents or the injured players can pursue damages against players, coaches, school districts, and equipment manufacturers for the injuries caused by sports- related incidents. For example:

    • The school district could be liable for violating safety requirements included within the Youth Sports Concussion Act and failing to have qualified medical personnel present at the sporting event.
    • The coach could be held liable for overexerting a player recovering a known injury such as a concussion, sprain, or heart condition.
    • A player could be found liable for unsportsmanlike conduct that results in the injury or death of another player.
    • An equipment manufacturer could be held liable for producing safety equipment that fails within normal use specifications. For example, if a brake system on a bicycle is prone to failure or a football helmet fails to provide the necessary cushion to prevent TBI.
    • A hospital can be found liable for misdiagnosing a serious injury such as Traumatic Brain Injury or damage to the spinal column.

     

  • When to Call an Accident Lawyer

    Irrespective of whether an injury is compensable through a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim, the sooner an injured victim contacts a lawyer, the greater the recovery will likely be. From auto accidents to workplace injuries, getting the best medical care is crucial. One problem accident victims face is that insurance companies try to minimize fault and reduce claim values. Seeking medical care and injury compensation is the right of injured people. Legal representation is often the best course of action.

    (Article continues below Infographic)

    infographic_When to Call an Accident Lawyer

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    Work Related Injuries

    People who were injured at work are entitled to workers’ compensation. The problem they face is that employer and insurance legal departments want to reduce costs associated with injuries. Workplace incidents can take many forms, and may happen at remote job sites. According to the Insurance Information Institute, traffic injuries are a major cause of workplace accidents. Sorting out the red tape demands the best accident lawyer available.

    Auto Accidents

    The fault in an auto accident may not be obvious. The fault may be shared, complicating insurance responsibility. Insurance companies try to minimize claims even if the fault is obvious. This can result in injured parties receiving inadequate medical attention, highlighting the need to have the best accident attorneys on the case. After an auto accident, a medical evaluation should be performed immediately. Injuries may not be visible, and may take medical attention to identify.

    Home and Property

    Negligence is the most common cause of household injuries. The negligent party may be a landlord, neighbor, or even a contractor. The pet or property of a neighbor can cause immediate, permanent injuries. Personal injury is well-defined in legal statutes, and can be resolved to benefit the injured. Common causes of personal injury include:

    • Animal Bites or Attacks
    • Loose or Damaged Flooring
    • Contractor Mistakes
    • Wet Flooring

    Slips and Falls

    Loose or improper flooring is the leading cause of slip and fall accidents. This type of accident can occur at home, in the workplace, or even while shopping. Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious injury, including Traumatic Brain Injury. When someone is hurt by a fall, it is important to seek medical and legal help as soon as possible.

    Accidents are a fact of life. Acquiring the best care and compensation is up to the individual. The best accident lawyers can help injured people get the help they deserve. Personal injury law is regulated at the state level, requiring local representation. In Chicago, Illinois, Ankin Law Office represents victims of auto accidents, personal injury and workers’ compensation.

  • Two Big Changes to Driving Laws in Illinois Now in Effect

    Nearly 200 new laws went into effect in Illinois on January 1 this year, making it important to know the most potentially relevant driving laws. This year, the state enhanced two existing laws regarding driving. While accident lawyers may help anyone affected by these laws, it is the responsibility of every Illinois driver to understand and comply with them in order to minimize driving risks.

    Expanding Scott’s Law

    The biggest change for Illinois drivers is to an already existing law called Scott’s Law, or the Move Over Law. The law was enacted to protect emergency personnel working on the side of the road. The law required that all drivers either slow down or move into a lane further from the shoulder when passing an emergency vehicle.

    As of January 1, drivers are now required to take these precautions for any car that is on the side of the road with its hazard lights on. Those who do not either slow down or move over may be fined up to $10,000 and may have their license suspended.

    Higher Fines for Risky Driving at Railroad Crossings

    Any driver who opts to either go around a lowered railroad crossing or rush through an arm that is in the process of lowering will be fined at least double the old fine. A first-time offender will be fined $500, and every subsequent offense will cost an additional $1,000. Some police departments are considering stationing officers at train crossings to enforce the law.

    Getting stuck at a railroad crossing is a frustration that some people are willing to avoid at all costs. Similar to distracted driving, drivers can be so focused on avoiding this inconvenience that they do not recognize how risky their driving has become.

    Driving can be a dangerous activity, but people become desensitized to those dangers. Modifying existing laws helps ensure that drivers are safer when on or to the side of the road. In the event of a collision, accident lawyers can help review options and compensation eligibility.

  • Is Your Child’s School Safe? Some Tips to Make That More Likely

    The unfortunate and tragic events in American schools in recent years have been cause for concern to parents, teachers and students themselves. And while shootings have grabbed most of the headlines, there are other dangers that can befall our most vulnerable generation before graduation.

    But that’s not to say we are helpless. There are many steps parents can take to improve the odds that an attack, an accident or an illness will not happen.

    In Chicago, the obvious concerns are the problems of guns, gangs and bullying. No lawyer, judge or politician can unilaterally end these scourges to our educational system and our students. Just as important are strategies that parents, educators and school administrators can follow to make things safer. Here are a few:

    •  Develop incident reporting systems as well as a transparent means of reporting cumulative data for public consumption. This first step is to develop a solid understanding of the problem.
    • Insist that districts and individual schools have crisis plans and drills.
    • Provide literature, training and support to teachers on issues such as drugs, weapons, youth suicide, child abuse and school law.
    • Observe and promote Safe Schools Week, which is in October. This provides a way to engage everyone in why it matters and the commitment of the school to provide a safe environment throughout the year.

    Other, unintentional safety issues exist in the school experience as well. On playgrounds, more than 200,000 children under age 14 are injured and require emergency treatment every year in the U.S. Preventive measures include ensuring that equipment is well maintained and that ground surfaces are soft. School staff, including and especially nurses, should be particularly attuned to symptoms of concussion.

    The journey to school also needs to be safe. A trend toward driving children in cars to their school may be an overzealous response and is attributed by some as a contributor to childhood obesity. If at all possible, parents can escort their children by bike or on foot and when the child is ready, allow them to walk alone if neighborhood conditions allow. Chicago’s Safe Passage program has largely been hailed a success (where it is available); Walking School Bus programs, led by a parent volunteer, are successful in many municipalities.

    In almost all instances, parental involvement is a fundamental component of ensuring safer schools. Attorneys might be able to lend assistance if laws are being broken, but a community cooperative of responsible people can accomplish very much in prevention.

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