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Ways to keep your children safe

By Ken Gibson on April 30, 2024

My law partner, John, and I are both dads, and the well-being of our children is a top priority, even though John’s boys are all grown up now.

All parents have a duty to watch over their kids, and my wife and I take that responsibility seriously, as we know you do, too. We get to know our children’s friends, and we meet the parents, teachers, coaches, and other adults in their lives. Like you, we spend as much time with our children as possible. But we know we can’t always be there, and we realize other adults also supervise our kids.

Adults in charge bear a heavy responsibility, and they must be held responsible when they fail to live up to their role as protectors of children. Here are some standards you should look for and expect.

What are the standards for schools, daycare centers, and other organizations to protect kids?

As parents, we want to give kids opportunities to learn, play, grow, and experience new things. Summer camps, sports teams, clubs, church organizations, and other extracurricular activities enhance children’s lives and create cherished memories.

Risks are always present when adults are working with kids. That’s why the adults in charge must be vigilant at all times. Businesses and organizations that serve children, such as schools, daycare centers, sports leagues, scouting organizations, and nanny services, must take every precaution to protect the children.

Protecting kids starts with hiring and screening the right people and making sure they have the necessary training. State and federal law requires all employees and volunteers who work at public schools, accredited private schools, licensed daycare centers, religiously exempt daycare centers, certified preschools, licensed family day homes, and system homes in Virginia to pass a background check before they can be around children.

Like schools, private organizations must also provide safeguards to protect children. For example, Boy Scouts of America now requires youth protection training, independent references, criminal background checks, and database screening for all adult leaders.

What are tips for safely supervising children?

After making sure employees and volunteers have undergone the necessary screening, organizations that work with kids must also provide training, guidelines, and supervision to protect children from harm. Anyone who supervises kids must be taught to keep them within their line of sight at all times. It’s crucial for adults to intervene immediately when they observe unsafe behavior, such as a child using playground equipment dangerously.

The adult-to-child ratio must be low enough for supervisors to effectively oversee activities and maintain safety. Organizations must also provide clear rules and procedures for supervisors to follow when a child’s behavior places him, her, or other children in jeopardy.

What types of accidents injure children?

Kids can get hurt in so many ways, and anyone working with children must be aware of the dangers. Many serious injuries result from the use and misuse of playground equipment, such as falls from tall equipment or structures that tip over and land on children.

Burn injuries are another serious concern, and children should never be exposed to hot surfaces or scalding liquids.

Parents and guardians supervising their children’s friends must also work hard to prevent accidents and maintain a safe environment. Be extra vigilant when driving a car full of children because car wrecks are a leading cause of death and injury of children.

Dog bites that occur in private homes are another serious concern. In fact, more than 2 million children are bitten by dogs every year in the United States, and many result in serious injuries.

Who can I call if my child is injured due to inadequate adult supervision?

Call us at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Helping our friends and neighbors get the financial resources they need to help them and their children recover after an accident is not just a job for us. John and I are personal injury lawyers, but we’re also former members of the U.S. Marines, and we consider it our calling to work tirelessly for the justice that accident victims deserve.

When you put your trust in GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. We call it our Zero Fee Guarantee.

Reach out to us at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to schedule your free consultation.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.