What Would You Do: Are You Liable If A Child Gets Hurt In Your Salon?
If Someone Gets Hurt In Your Salon, Are You Liable?
Allowing kids in the salon is ALWAYS a hot topic, especially when something awful happens and a child gets injured. A member of the BTC community had a question about who is liable if a kid gets hurt in the salon, and you all had a LOT to say. Keep reading for all the info!
“Question for you: A friend comes in to get a haircut and his son is running around the shop as he’s getting a haircut. The kid opens a closet door that’s on the salon floor and puts his hands in a bucket w/ blades. The child ends up getting stitches. Is the salon owner liable? PLEASE don’t print my name!”
Disclaimer: BTC is aggregating answers from hairdressers for purposes of general knowledge. Nothing written below should be taken as legal advice. For questions related to liability, consult your attorney or insurance company.
First of All…A Bucket of Blades?!
Okay, so we don’t have a lot of details on this, but having an open container of sharp blades is not only a bad idea, it’s also against state board regulations. See what the community had to say.
“Yep. Improper storage of blades. If opening a door was all he had to do to get to the blades, they were not stored properly. Could have been a new customer looking for a bathroom not paying attention and walked into that bucket and trip and boom, injury. It’s negligent storage, pure and simple.” – @hagan2allen
“Yes! That should have a snap on lid if it holds blades. And out of reach of children. He/she should have had the closet locked up.” – @tulahlove
“Blades should be going in a proper hazardous waste disposal container…who just has ‘buckets of blades’ accessible to anyone in their salon?” – @kymberli_koffin
“Your blades should be in a sharps container and put in a safe place, therefore I would say this was negligence on the owner’s part. In addition I don’t know exactly when this happened but the child should not have even been in the salon at all, with COVID rules only one person allowed in the salon per stylist.” – Shirley Certo Girouard
Additional Liability Considerations
Shirley’s remark about COVID-19 limitations raises a great point. Plus, most state regulations have specific requirements for salon storage to prevent things like this. Check out the responses.
“Visitors aren’t even allowed to accompany clients to appointments in Ontario, Canada. So he wouldn’t even be allowed in the salon at all here. So you would be liable if you’re not following the health and safety guidelines.” – Jennifer Michelle
“When [the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation] came to inspect me, they said, ‘No hazardous materials near the ground where it’s in reach of children unless you can absolutely lock it up literally.’ I just had cleaning materials under the bathroom sink. But this definitely should have been a LOCKED door if it had such hazards.” – Alexandra De Leon
No Kids Allowed?
Many people said they don’t allow children in the salon for this very reason. Others gave advice on how to address this topic with parents who aren’t watching their kids closely.
“While parents should make their child sit down and not allow them to run around like crazy ultimately the salon professional is liable. We have to be willing to step up and tell them to sit down if mom or dad won’t and explain that kind of behavior can’t and won’t be tolerated for many reasons. If it happens inside the salon, the salon is liable. Thats why we carry liability insurance. Protect your self professionally.” – @charity.determan
“Personally, I don’t think the salon should be. The child shouldn’t be going through things in the salon! That is unacceptable behavior for a salon. Nothing about a salon is childproof. Legally, they will probably be held accountable. But a claim with the salons insurance would cover it, I think. I would definitely seek advice from a lawyer, though. Seeing children run rampant in a salon makes my blood boil. So many things between chemicals and tools that can hurt them in a split second.” – @mysarahlouise
“In your place of business you have to be assertive…don’t let this happen in your salon.” – @traveljunkie95
“Unfortunately, yes! I kindly ask my clients to get a sitter so she can relax and I can focus on her hair and not her child because I am liable for unsafe areas for anyone to be able to get into.” – @sallyscissorhandz
“Unfortunately, I think these situations are going to force many salons into a ‘no children allowed unless accompanied by an adult.’ Everyone is getting caught up on this bucket of blades scenario, but there are many dangers in a salon that can cause harm to unsupervised kids…it’s a business, not a daycare center…and although you have liability insurance, it’s sure as hell going to go up if they have to pay out.” – Tracy Senkewicz
QUESTION:“Okay…Suppose this had nothing to do with sharps (in a closet). If the child walked over while mom was getting an updo and grabbed the curling off the countertop by the barrel, resulting in burns, would you still say the salon is liable…?” – Ashley Johnson
ANSWER: “Yes, you’re always liable. It’s your salon, just like your home. You’re liable.” – Lisa Darling Mathews
“I learned a long time ago to say, ‘Oh no, don’t do that, Mommy would have to pay to have fixed, and it costs hundreds of dollars!’ That usually makes moms grab kids quick!” – Dana And-steven Creel
What About Waivers Or Signs?
Hanging signs or having clients sign waivers can help in situations like this, but aren’t a foolproof way to avoid being sued. If you want to offer a waiver or hang signs in your salon, please check with your attorney. BTC is not offering legal advice.
“Waivers don’t actually protect you from liability, but they do help the client know what risks are. You can’t waive something else’s responsibility, which in this case is the salon’s.” – Chauntel Songy
“ALL BUSINESSES MUST have signs. Like, the right to refuse service, not responsible for stained/ruined clothes so please change into smock, please keep your child under control, we will not be liable for them should they hurt themselves…YOU MUST HAVE A SIGN IN CLEAR VIEW if you want to relieve yourself of responsibility.” – @cmack3rd
“Maybe a waiver they could sign if they bring their child saying while you’re getting your hair done, the salon will not be responsible for the unattended child. A salon is never a good place for unattended children there are so many hazards.” – Dawn Johnson
I have a sign posted about children and how I’m not liable for accidents. It will help some, I was told by attorney to post it. It’s my salon, so I do speak up if I see them misbehaving. Who cares if costs you a client, you will get another one! Parents need make their kids sit!” – Dana And-steven Creel
Ok, For Real: Who is Liable?
The answer won’t be easy to hear, but if it’s your salon, it’s your responsibility. Talk to your attorney and business liability insurance provider ASAP.
“Cosmetologist turned claims adjuster here. Yes, technically the commercial general liability would cover the damage to the boy. Not saying it’s right but yes, it would fall under your insurance.” – Lisi Metzler
“You are. Depending on the state laws, you may split liability with the parent for negligence, even though it’s clearly a horrible accident. Take it as a learning experience and establish some boundaries with your clients. Salons aren’t appropriate places for unattended children. Hope the little guy is okay. ❤️” – @sabrinathehairwitch
“Absolutely the salon is liable. Morally no, lawfully yes. Should have controlled the child before anything else happened and a bucket full of blades?! Should be more like a closed contaminated sharps container. Yikes!” – @hillman1187
Real Stories of Kids Getting Hurt In Salons
We don’t want to scare you, but the possibility of a child getting hurt in your salon is not farfetched. Check out some of these real stories our readers shared.
“A kid ran around the salon I was working at, decided to play on the old fashioned barber chair, don’t know how…he chopped his little finger off. Mother sued, so sorry to say, you are liable, they are on your property.” – @claracaramma
“That’s exactly why I do not allow running, etc. in my salon. We are liable and it’s on us. People nowadays sue people for everything. My policy is no kids are to come with you unless receiving a service, and must not be left unattended. I have had kids run the water and overflow my sink, break 20 light bulbs (in a closet), break my wind chime, spill soda on the couch, run and hit their head, draw on the couch with a pen. Sometimes you just have enough of it.” – @carolinamasterstylist
“I had a friend have something similar happen, a mirror fell on a wild child and the salon owner was deemed liable in court. This is why if kids are allowed, they need to behave, no questions ask. This could be a VERY costly lesson for all involved.” – MaLinda Lovett
“I had sign stating children were to remain on carpeted area of the waiting room until their turn in the styling chair. No exception. However, on one occasion, I heard a 12-year-old child make a straining noise in that waiting area. I turned to see she had taken a heavy antique mirror off the wall and was struggling to hold onto it! I ran and put it back on the wall and told her (in no uncertain terms!) to sit in the chair…not move until her mom was ready to walk out the door! Then I told her mom to never bring the three kids back to the salon during her appointment. She never came back…no loss! That child would have been cut to ribbons if that old mirror had broken.” – Carol Price King
“At a salon I worked in, a kid unattended put his hand in the wax, and the wax was on top of a cabinet, but the child climbed on a chair and got in it. It’s the parents’ responsibility to watch their children or don’t bring them.” – Charlene McLaughlin