If you are a teacher, babysitter, nanny, or are otherwise in charge of children, your primary job is to ensure that the children are supervised properly. If a child gets hurt on your watch, there is a chance that you can be held liable for his or her injuries. One thing that will need to be determined is exactly how much supervision is adequate for the children you watch to help decide how much fault is yours. The following are some things to keep in mind:
The Child's Age
The age of the child you are watching is going to help determine how much fault is yours. When in charge of kids, you are in charge of their activities and are tasked determining whether or not they are in an activity that is appropriate for their age. For example, if you are leading a class of three-year-olds that you leave unsupervised with scissors, chances are you are going to be held responsible if an injury occurs. The same cannot be said for a group of 13 year-old kids.
Another thing to consider is the skill level of the child with regard to the activity they are involved in. A child that has strong skills in an activity may not need as much constant supervision as a child with little exposure. If you are taking a child swimming who has is a member of a swim team will not need as much supervision as a child who has little experience in the water.
Things Out of Your Control
There will be some instances in which a child is injured by circumstances outside of your control. Location can be one example. Going to a water park or country fair could result in your not being able to watch every single move of a group of kids since the area is so vast. Without proper planning and more adult eyes on the kids, accidents can happen. However, they cannot necessarily be blamed on you.
Keeping kids safe is the top priority of any childcare provider, but protecting yourself legally is also very important. Always provide as much supervision as reasonably necessary. Keep in mind that a child can still get hurt right in front of your eyes, so know that things will not always land on your shoulders. If an injury does happen and the parents place blame on you, be sure to call a personal injury attorney.