You send you child to school to receive an education and socialization, and you expect the school to watch over him while he is there. But accidents can happen anywhere – and a burn injury at school is not unheard of.

How do burn injuries occur at school?

The school setting may seem generally benign, but there are burn hazards around every corner.

  • Exposed wires, cords, and outlets pose a risk of electrical burns and shocks.
  • Chemistry labs are stocked with explosive chemicals and flammable materials.
  • Kids and teens may bring matches or lighters to school.
  • Home economics, cooking, and automotive elective classes are teeming with fire hazards.
  • Outdoor field trips and field days can mean serious sunburn injuries.
  • Buses can be involved in fiery accidents.
  • The school’s heating and wiring may be defective and lead to a building fire.

Another common source of many burn injuries at school is excessively hot food, which schools may be unprepared to handle and appropriately address.

This turned out to be the case for a seven-year-old student who, after being unable to open his bag of taco meat open during lunchtime, tried to punch it open. The extremely hot taco meat splattered and landed on his face, causing second-degree burns. To make matters worse, there was no nurse available onsite, the school administration failed to call 9-1-1, and tried to treat the injury with ice (a major no-no as it can damage the skin).

What do I do if my child sustains burns at school?

If the school calls and informs you that your child sustained a burn injury, obviously, seeking immediate treatment is your first priority. For any type of burn injury – regardless of how minor you think it may be, you should take your child for a medical evaluation. The doctors will be able to determine the severity of the damage and treat the injury accordingly. For superficial first-degree burns, you may use bandaging and burn ointments, as well as over-the-counter pain medications.

Partial second-degree and full thickness third-degree burns with open wounds are susceptible to infections, so it is important to look out for any signs of the burn worsening. For serious burn injuries, hospitalization and skin graft surgeries might be necessary.

Can I sue the school for my child’s burn injury?

If your child suffered serious burn injuries at school, you will certainly want to discuss your legal options with a lawyer.

Holding schools accountable for kids’ injuries is a difficult feat because the law grants schools a large amount of legal immunity from liability lawsuits. However, it is worth looking into because if your case meets certain requirements, you might be able to secure compensation for your child’s medical bills, scarring, and pain and suffering.

If you have questions about burn injuries at school, call us at 844-549-8774 to speak to a lawyer referral specialist who can help you find a lawyer to represent you and your child.