Child Suffers Broken Orbital Bone and Concussion Due to Negligent Recreational Program Supervision

Victoria Negron

Written by
— Updated on January 30, 2018

Education Expert WitnessThis case involves a child that was attending a school-run extracurricular program. The child was playing tag and ran head-on into a misplaced goal post. None of the adults present witnessed the incident. The child was taken to the infirmary, but there was no nurse on duty to assist. The child’s parents took him to the emergency room where a CT scan showed the child had a broken orbital bone, a severe concussion, and blood behind his eye. An expert was required to opine on the standard of care regarding supervision for children and the proper training and steps that should be taken when a child is severely injured in a program like this.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience supervising and/or training supervisors for student camps.
  • 2. What level of supervision is required for these type of extracurricular activities?
  • 3. What type of first aid training should supervisors receive prior to activities like these?
  • 4. What should have the proper steps been after the student was injured?

Expert Witness Response E-044385

I served as an elementary after school and summer recreational program teacher prior to being a school principal for 5 years and a school superintendent for 26 years. During my time as a school principal and superintendent, I was responsible for the oversight of school programs both during the day and after normal school hours. In this case, it appears evident that a reasonable standard of care and supervision was not taken to ensure the safety of the children participating in this activity. Not only was there no adult present at the time of the incident, there appears to be great negligence in allowing the goal post to be in this location while children were present and exercising. At the very least, all adult supervisors should have current and up to date CPR certification. Upon suffering such an injury, the child should have been made comfortable in his/her current location and the adult on duty should have called the paramedics or 911 for immediate assistance. The child should not have been moved under the circumstances described. The child should have remained as immobile as possible until assistance arrived. The supervisors should have also called the parents following the call for medical assistance. I am currently an expert witness in a similar ongoing case involving a child severely injured while participating in a school-sponsored activity in the gym. The school did not have proper safety equipment and, the teacher lacked formal training and had no first aid or CPR certification.

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