Auto Accident Law 101

Auto Accident Law 101

Dangers In The Sandbox: What You Should Know About To Your Child's Risk

Everett Cook

If your child is in daycare, you probably expect him or her to catch a fair number of colds from other kids–but you probably don't expect your child to come home with a disease or virus that he or she contracted from an animal or insect. However, spring is just around the corner, and if your child care facility has a sandbox, that's a potential risk–especially if the sandbox isn't well-maintained or is left open to wandering animals. Here's what you should know about the possibility of disease and what to do if your child contracts one.

What are the risks of catching a disease from a sandbox?

Sandboxes can attract spiders and other bugs, and toys like buckets and shovels that are left inside the box can collect rainwater and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Black widow spiders, in particular, are fond of dark places and can creep into even covered sandboxes. A bite from one can cause muscle pain in a child's entire body and even difficulty breathing. Mosquitoes in the U.S. can spread diseases like West Nile Virus, which causes a severe form of encephalitis. 

Sandboxes can also attract all manner of stray or wild animals who can spread a number of zoonotic diseases to your child. Cats, in particular, will use a sandbox as a litter box, and can spread diseases to your child through urine and fecal matter that gets buried in the sand. Your child could easily pick up hookworms or roundworms from a poorly maintained sandbox. For example, in 2006, an outbreak of a skin condition known as cutaneous larva migrans (CLM) was blamed on just such a sandbox at a children's sports camp.

Proper maintenance and safety procedures can reduce the risk.

Proper sandbox maintenance and safety procedures are key to preventing dangers from insects and animals:

  • Removing toys from the box at the end of each day so that insects can't make their home in them overnight.
  • No food or drink should be allowed in the sandbox, to help prevent attracting animals and insects.
  • Sandboxes should be covered overnight with heavy lids or lids that lock, in order to prevent animals from using the sand as a litter box.
  • Sandboxes should be inspected daily for spiders or obvious signs that animals have been in it before children are allowed to play in it.
  • Children should wash their hands after playing in the sand, even for a few minutes.

What can you do if your child gets bitten or contracts an illness?

If your child gets bitten by an insect or gets sick due to an animal-borne disease, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages for your child's injuries. There are several factors that come into play in order to have a viable lawsuit.

Did the daycare take basic precautions that they could be expected to take? Sometimes accidents happen despite everyone's best efforts to prevent them, but if the child care facility doesn't routinely clean the sandbox, cover it, and take ordinary steps to protect the children using it, that could be considered negligence

Another factor is the severity of the injuries to your child. If a spider bite causes nothing more than a red, itchy bump, there isn't likely to be much in the way of actual damages. However, if your child required hospital care, took several weeks to fully recover, or has ongoing problems, then your request for compensation is reasonable.

For more information about your specific situation, contact an attorney in your area.


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About Me
Auto Accident Law 101

After being involved in a serious auto accident with a drunk driver, I struggled heavily with getting the driver's insurance company to open a claim. When the insurance company started pushing back, I knew I needed to do something. I spent a lot of time digging through the laws surrounding auto accident claims so that I knew what my legal rights were. I even talked with an auto accident attorney. I created this site to teach others about what I learned, including my court experience. I hope it helps you to determine how you should proceed with your auto accident case.