In this article, it is interesting to note that strollers and other confined spaces can present a real risk of danger, medical complication, and even death to children in the heat of summer and other months. Since children do not sweat or control body temperature the same as an adult, a glance at a child may lead a child care provider to believe that all is well because the child is not sweating profusely or appear to be that hot or overexposed to the heat. The truth is that child care provides, on many occasions, do not and cannot see that a child is truly a risk and approaching a critical overexposure to the heat. Some times, it is only the child’s outward signs of trauma, arrest, or other significant issues that finally alerts the child care provider that there is a problem.
In Florida, child care providers, summer camps, day care centers, schools and other entities have a duty to keep a child out of harm’s way. One known risk is the Florida heat. Make sure that a child – especially infants and toddlers – are provided with proper ventilation when in confined spaces like a stroller. Furthermore, as we have seen far too many times, a child should not be left unattended on a school bus or school van without air conditioning. Let’s make sure that this point is clear. A child needs to be supervised at all times and should never be left on a bus or van alone – air conditioned or without air conditioning.
316.2065 (9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
As such, a bicyclist is essentially considered a pedestrian when operating a bicycle on a sidewalk and crosswalk. It is important for all drivers to be on the look out for bicyclists in the community whether the bicyclist / cyclist is a toddler, child, teen, adult, or competitive cyclist of any age. Florida weather permits bicycle riding year round. As such, drivers should always be on the lookout for cyclist at all times. Unfortunately, far too many bicyclist are injured every year due to the negligent driving of others and / or distracted driving of others.
In St. Johns County, Florida and the other 66 counties in the State of Florida, children are transported to and from schools in school buses and vans. When there is a crash or accident, children are often injured and require medical care and attention. Some injuries even require the transport by fire rescue and at times by an emergency air lift. When a child suffers personal injuries, parents are faced with the challenges of medical bills, missed school, personal injuries, permanent injuries, and a whole host of other problems. When faced with these issues, it is often helpful to have the guidance, counsel, and legal representation by a qualified Florida Child Injury Lawyer. Some laws and insurance regulations make perfect sense while others do not. Certainly, school districts, schools, and insurance companies are well represented by a panel of attorneys. Because of this, parents should act quickly to get an advocate in place to give a voice for the injured child. Back to the question at hand, who is responsible for the personal injuries suffered by a child when there is a school bus accident or crash?
School District. If the school bus is owned, operated, or retained by a public school district, then the school district could be held liable for the personal injuries and damages IF it can be proved that the bus driver was negligent AND / OR there was negligence involved with the maintenance of the bus that was a contributing cause of the crash.
Private School Bus Company. If the school district contracts out to a private school bus company, the private school bus company may be liable if there was negligent driving OR negligent maintenance that was a contributing cause of the crash. The private school bus company, if hired by a public school district, may be able to avail itself of some of the protections of the school distrct as a public entity. As such, further evaluation and analysis are warranted under these circumstances. If a private school retains the private school bus company, no such protections are afforded the private school bus company.
Even though the risks are well known or should be well known to all adults, some how children including but not limited to toddlers drown every year at private pools, community pools, day care centers, and water parks. Even one child, who drowns as a result of a preventable incident, is one child too many. There are many reasons out there for this ongoing problem during the summer months and other times of the year. It is important to spot the problems and put preventative measures in place to prevent any further drowning incidents.