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How The Wrong Bookcase Cost One School Six Figures

If I asked you to close your eyes and imagine the most dangerous piece of equipment on your school grounds, I suspect you would see an eight foot slide, or a merry-go-round, or the swing set...Am I right, was it a piece of playground equipment in your mind's eye?

Well, statistically, I'm going to agree with you. We see many more injuries from the playground each year than we do from inside the classrooms. The story that follows, however, could happen to anyone and it was so unexpected to me that I thought yopu might benefit from hearing the story.
In one school, a teacher working in the toddler room was changing a diaper. The changing table was situated in such a way that the teacher could see the entire room while changing a diaper. This is exactly the type of arrangement that is necessary to maintain supervision.
While changing one child's diaper, another child decided that it would be a grand idea to climb the bookcase. The bookcase was a rack arrangement that displayed books in a way that is visually appealing to children. The teacher verbally corrected the child, telling him to put his feet back on the floor. Unfortunately, she could not physically intervene because she had a child on the changing table.
The boy climbing the the bookcase got his foot caught and would up fracturing his leg. The boy's medical bills to treat the fractured leg amounted to $7,500 and his leg healed perfectly normally.
The parentrs sued and succeeded in getting a six figure settlement. I found the settlement shocking so I started ionvestigating what went wrong.
I discovered that although a very small percentage of your suppliers educate their customers about bookcases, the reality is that there truly are bookcases that are safer for toddlers. These are thye low bookcases with wide shelves, as opposed to bookcases with height and/or narrow display type shelves.
As an experiment I googled toddler bookcases and childcare furniture, then looked at the various toddler bookcases among the results. About 85% of the results showed a book display just like the one involved in this injury. That result leads me to believe many of you have this type of display unit in your toddler rooms. If you do, I suggest it might be time to replace the units.
A conversation with a representative from one specific dealer in child care furniture taught me that if an age appropriate bookcase had been utilized in the toddler room, the injury could not have happened.
Although I am not endorsing any particular furniture provider, I am advocating you utilize an expert that can guide you to the safest, most appropriate choices for your school.
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