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Accident Liability At Kindergartens

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We attended a Christmas party organised by our 2 year old son's kindergarten on Friday. It was held in the gym of a nearby primary school. Strapped to the walls were some large blue crash mats. It seems that some of the parents had been unclipping the mats and lying them down so the kids could jump up and down on them. It turns out that one had been unstrapped (must have bee by an adult but no idea who at the moment), but they had left it balancing on it's side. I was with my son a couple of metres from the wall when another little boy tried to get round the back of the mat. I was looking away from the wall at the time so didn't see that he had tipped the mat and it fell to ground. They are obviously pretty heavy and it hit my son across the side of the head and shoulder, and knocked him hard to the ground pinning him under it. A quick trip to the A&E showed the he has quite a bad spiral fracture to his lower leg and he is now in a cast for 4-6 weeks. Luckily the bone was still aligned so no need to operate, but of course it's easy for us to worry that there might be a long-term problem, or at least some delays to his development. I am quite angry right now. Should we do something regarding liability ? If it was an accident like kids fighting or falling off from a slide then I would take it as bad luck, but it does feel like negligence was the cause in this case. Any thoughts ? We are in Germany right now but I am sure the rules for liability are similar to the UK.

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Were the mats secure at the start of the event? (Presumably - although if not then the liability lies with the room owner/hire company)

Was there supervision of the kids? (Yes you were there)

Was it a risk someone could have foresaw? (no, yes, maybe probably not?)

Are German A&E dept full of "had an accident?" posters?

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Were the mats secure at the start of the event? (Presumably - although if not then the liability lies with the room owner/hire company)

Was there supervision of the kids? (Yes you were there)

Was it a risk someone could have foresaw? (no, yes, maybe probably not?)

Are German A&E dept full of "had an accident?" posters?

We have a photo from maybe 5 minutes before the accident with the mat in the background and it was clearly strapped up. An adult behind us must have unstrapped it, but left it balancing on its side. There were no adults near when it tipped. I know the little kid who pushed it over but it isn't his fault of course. I do feel like blame should be attributed though, at least so that the guilty party thinks twice about what they are doing in the future.

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We attended a Christmas party organised by our 2 year old son's kindergarten on Friday. It was held in the gym of a nearby primary school. Strapped to the walls were some large blue crash mats. It seems that some of the parents had been unclipping the mats and lying them down so the kids could jump up and down on them. It turns out that one had been unstrapped (must have bee by an adult but no idea who at the moment), but they had left it balancing on it's side. I was with my son a couple of metres from the wall when another little boy tried to get round the back of the mat. I was looking away from the wall at the time so didn't see that he had tipped the mat and it fell to ground. They are obviously pretty heavy and it hit my son across the side of the head and shoulder, and knocked him hard to the ground pinning him under it. A quick trip to the A&E showed the he has quite a bad spiral fracture to his lower leg and he is now in a cast for 4-6 weeks. Luckily the bone was still aligned so no need to operate, but of course it's easy for us to worry that there might be a long-term problem, or at least some delays to his development. I am quite angry right now. Should we do something regarding liability ? If it was an accident like kids fighting or falling off from a slide then I would take it as bad luck, but it does feel like negligence was the cause in this case. Any thoughts ? We are in Germany right now but I am sure the rules for liability are similar to the UK.

So in terms of "Liability" do you:

1) want to alert the kindergarten to the "accident waiting to happen" so it doesn't happen again i.e. so they update their 'risk assessment'

2) Want an acknowledgement that an accident happened in case you need to claim for subsequent medical costs - you may never need to. Hopefully all will be well - accidents happen and broken bones heal.

3) Want to put in a claim for some upfront money to make you feel better, set up a savings account for your child, but which will make no difference to your child now ?

A good provocative post btw

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We have a photo from maybe 5 minutes before the accident with the mat in the background and it was clearly strapped up. An adult behind us must have unstrapped it, but left it balancing on its side. There were no adults near when it tipped. I know the little kid who pushed it over but it isn't his fault of course. I do feel like blame should be attributed though, at least so that the guilty party thinks twice about what they are doing in the future.

That's useful to have that photo.

What if it was a kid undid it?

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That's useful to have that photo.

What if it was a kid undid it?

35 years prison! We are a fair society! ;)

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So in terms of "Liability" do you:

1) want to alert the kindergarten to the "accident waiting to happen" so it doesn't happen again i.e. so they update their 'risk assessment'

2) Want an acknowledgement that an accident happened in case you need to claim for subsequent medical costs - you may never need to. Hopefully all will be well - accidents happen and broken bones heal.

3) Want to put in a claim for some upfront money to make you feel better, set up a savings account for your child, but which will make no difference to your child now ?

A good provocative post btw

1) Yes to this, under all circumstances

2) Yes I suppose. If there are medical costs and any long-term problems then I would feel someone else is responsible.

3) It's hard. In the ed I would only want compensation for him if he has any longer term problems. My wife is at home so we have nothing like lost-earnings for the next four weeks. It messes up plans to travel over Christmas, but nothing lost more than 80 euros for a hotel room.

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I think kids should jump around a bit and even climb trees! Some will get hurt, and have legs in plaster!, etc :huh:

I myself have a bad arm after inserting a barometer up a cow's bottom, when I was young! I was only 35 and should have known better!

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1) Yes to this, under all circumstances

2) Yes I suppose. If there are medical costs and any long-term problems then I would feel someone else is responsible.

3) It's hard. In the ed I would only want compensation for him if he has any longer term problems. My wife is at home so we have nothing like lost-earnings for the next four weeks. It messes up plans to travel over Christmas, but nothing lost more than 80 euros for a hotel room.

Letter to kindergarten with photo evidence explaining "accident waiting to happen" and "accident that happened" - suggest a range of solutions such as notices saying "do not interfere with mats" - or fix the mats more securely.

Are the mats even needed ? - Are they stored on the walls, or is it some form of wall softening, in which case is whatever accident they are trying to prevent less than the problem they create. Ask for a reply.

You don't need to say any more at this stage and hopefully, you won't have to.

sh1t happens

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Arbeit Mat Frei!

:blink:

Macht Frei! Nobhead!

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I think kids should jump around a bit and even climb trees! Some will get hurt, and have legs in plaster!, etc :huh:

I myself have a bad arm after inserting a barometer up a cow's bottom, when I was young! I was only 35 and should have known better!

A barometer?!? I should think putting your arm up there would be a bit Heisenberg-esque regarding whatever you were trying to measure.

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This is the sort of ******** that makes me mad. First up, I have kids, so understand the pain of when they get hurt etc etc. But by always looking for someone to blame - usually someone with deep pockets - you close down activities and damage many more children through lack of opportunity.

As an example, the gym, if assessing risk of legal action after any sort of letter by you, will just say - no more parties for kids. zip. nada.

result - less social time for kids and less exercise.

AAARGHGHHG. I'd vote for any pollie who stood on a platform of a 'shit happens' law where no damages or compensation are given to anyone, ever, for anything calculated as a less than 1 in 100,000 chance of happening.

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This is the sort of ******** that makes me mad. First up, I have kids, so understand the pain of when they get hurt etc etc. But by always looking for someone to blame - usually someone with deep pockets - you close down activities and damage many more children through lack of opportunity.

As an example, the gym, if assessing risk of legal action after any sort of letter by you, will just say - no more parties for kids. zip. nada.

result - less social time for kids and less exercise.

AAARGHGHHG. I'd vote for any pollie who stood on a platform of a 'shit happens' law where no damages or compensation are given to anyone, ever, for anything calculated as a less than 1 in 100,000 chance of happening.

I know a mother with three children - all do dangerous sports of one kind or another, and she also encouraged one to join the infantry. Very much of the opinion that she has 'spare' children.

As you say, sh1t happens.

You have to have a few bad experiences

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This is the sort of ******** that makes me mad. First up, I have kids, so understand the pain of when they get hurt etc etc. But by always looking for someone to blame - usually someone with deep pockets - you close down activities and damage many more children through lack of opportunity.

As an example, the gym, if assessing risk of legal action after any sort of letter by you, will just say - no more parties for kids. zip. nada.

result - less social time for kids and less exercise.

AAARGHGHHG. I'd vote for any pollie who stood on a platform of a 'shit happens' law where no damages or compensation are given to anyone, ever, for anything calculated as a less than 1 in 100,000 chance of happening.

It isn't about money unless it turns out more serious than it appears at the moment. The mat hit him on the side of the head and shoulder, so the load would have passed down his neck and spine before breaking his leg. It feels desperately unlucky that it happened, but lucky that it could have been worse. We found out today that there have been two broken arms at the same kindergarten in the last 12 months

It is mainly about blaming someone so it doesn't happen again.

I would hope the school's solution would be to remedy the problem rather than close down entirely part of their business.

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This is the sort of ******** that makes me mad. First up, I have kids, so understand the pain of when they get hurt etc etc. But by always looking for someone to blame - usually someone with deep pockets - you close down activities and damage many more children through lack of opportunity.

As an example, the gym, if assessing risk of legal action after any sort of letter by you, will just say - no more parties for kids. zip. nada.

result - less social time for kids and less exercise.

AAARGHGHHG. I'd vote for any pollie who stood on a platform of a 'shit happens' law where no damages or compensation are given to anyone, ever, for anything calculated as a less than 1 in 100,000 chance of happening.

And this is our first kid and basically the first time he has been really hurt, I am sure families with older kids and more experience of accidents find it easier to be philosophical about it.

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Firstly hope it turns out OK for the OP's lad.

This is the sort of ******** that makes me mad. First up, I have kids, so understand the pain of when they get hurt etc etc. But by always looking for someone to blame - usually someone with deep pockets - you close down activities and damage many more children through lack of opportunity.

As an example, the gym, if assessing risk of legal action after any sort of letter by you, will just say - no more parties for kids. zip. nada.

result - less social time for kids and less exercise.

AAARGHGHHG. I'd vote for any pollie who stood on a platform of a 'shit happens' law where no damages or compensation are given to anyone, ever, for anything calculated as a less than 1 in 100,000 chance of happening.

I'm kind of in the same place. Freak stuff does happen to kids. Sometimes it's not even their fault. Mostly, they bounce back.

I had a few things happen to me as a kid which in retrospect my parents could have claimed big time for. They were mostly just accidents or mistakes in the end. Thankfully, there wasn't the claim culture back then - and the relevant medical/teaching professionals said sorry, presumably tried their best to make sure it didn't happen again and everyone moved on.

My Dad was on the receiving end of a life changing medical cockup when he was a kid. Again no claim made because it was basically unheard of to do so - and he's received a lot of help from the welfare state down the years as a consequence of it. That to me seems to be an example of the collective social contract working well.

As a parent though, it's completely fine to be angry and upset about it when it happens to your kid. Especially, if you don't have a spare.

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So the school gym was just being used as a hired space?

I assume it was expected the gym equipment would not be used and was strapped securely as it should be when not in use. So some parent or parents decided to make use of the facilities, even though one would reasonably assume this was the school's property and probably shouldn't be messed with?

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It isn't about money unless it turns out more serious than it appears at the moment. The mat hit him on the side of the head and shoulder, so the load would have passed down his neck and spine before breaking his leg. It feels desperately unlucky that it happened, but lucky that it could have been worse. We found out today that there have been two broken arms at the same kindergarten in the last 12 months

It is mainly about blaming someone so it doesn't happen again.

I would hope the school's solution would be to remedy the problem rather than close down entirely part of their business.

As stated by others its never nice to see a kid hurt and I echo hopes for a full recovery.

That said the problem being idiot parents interfering with potentially dangerous equipment because they assume they have the right to do so?

Sounds to me like the space was hired in an entirely safe state and was rendered potentially unsafe by an adult attending the party? I'd suggest that blaming the kindergarten is misdirected. There are reasonableness tests that must be passed before attributing blame surely? In this case a bunch of adults decided that they were qualified to use equipment that they obviously didn't understand. I'd say 100% of the fault lies with the adults.

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I'm of the opinion that the mats should not be stored strapped up against a wall. It could easily be foreseen that unstrapping one could cause it to fall on someone, maybe a child (since its a primary school). They are an accident waiting to happen and the mats should be stored horizontally in a stack.

The key point here is that such an accident could easily be foreseen so I think legal action is justified. The kindergarten needs to improve its health and safety procedures.

Best wishes to the OP's child for a speedy recovery.

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