Every parent’s nightmare is when they learn that their child has been hurt at the daycare facility where they dropped off their kids to head off to work. Injuries at the day care center can range from minor accidents to serious injuries, and worse, death. In most cases, the root of the problem is due to daycare negligence where caregivers fail to responsibly do their part and act appropriately.
Entrusting your child to a daycare provider is presuming that your kid will be in good hands and be attended to properly. However, there are some daycare providers who are negligent in their job of looking after the children. If your child is experiencing injury due to negligent daycare provider, contact your private lawyer immediately to seek legal assistance and ensure accountability and compensation
Minor Accidents Can Still Be Fatal
Families and caregivers must remember that even the most minor of lapses in child care can be serious and fatal. One example is the case of the three-year old preschool kid who died after swallowing a pushpin. This news became a worldwide headline last October 2011. UT San Diego reported that the child was allowed to use the bathroom with no supervision but did not realize that the kid got hold of a pushpin. Anything pointed and sharp such as pushpins have long been known to be harmful to children and toddlers. The kid swallowed the sharp object and got choked, and paramedics were not able to save him.
The day care center was sued for negligence and for creating an unsafe play facility where damaging objects like pushpins are within a child’s reach. Despite such a grave violation, the daycare facility was only charged $150 by the state. Yet, the civil law allows family members to file a lawsuit to compensate for the damage and aptly penalize the daycare facility.
Sadly, this case is not rare since this is happening in other daycare facilities as well.
Protecting the Children
Children are most vulnerable to accidents and injuries. That is why daycare providers must be very particular with acting appropriately and carefully at all times to ensure safety and security of the children. The biggest cause for daycare accidents and injuries is lack of supervision due to inadequate staffing. Without enough number of adults to watch over the children, these kids will be more prone to getting into trouble and accidentally injure themselves.
Duty of Care of Daycare Providers
In choosing a daycare for your kid, make sure that the facility meets the following criteria and standards. Daycare facilities are expected to provide the following:
- Adequate caregiver to child ratio
- Quick access to first aid equipment
- Proper safety standards
- Sufficient food allocation according to a followed schedule
- Enough water access
- Proper bathroom facilities
- Adequate safety measures that keep the child from wandering
- A policy that prohibits all kinds of physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse
Signs of Daycare Negligence
Daycare providers are expected to exercise reasonable caution and prudence towards the children who are under their care. When a daycare facility fails to live up to their responsibility, they can be filed for breach of legal duty, holding them accountable for damages for any incurred harm or injury.
Daycare negligence tends to get unnoticed until things get worse. State and federal laws are imposed that set the standards which must be adhered to by all of these facilities. These policies include removing identified dangers, proper supervision and having adequate caregiver tools in case of emergency. If a daycare provider fails to follow these standards, they will be held legally liable when injuries or accidents happen.
Here are different kinds of actions and behaviors in the daycare facility that can be considered negligent:
- Failing to properly oversee the children. If a child gets lost or becomes prone to harm, or gets harmed due to lack of adequate supervision, this is a negligent act.
- Failing to address the special dietary requirements of the child. When you let the daycare provider know that your child has certain dietary restrictions and food allergies, they should be able to keep the child away from any food that can potentially cause harm.
- Failing to provide safe facilities for the child. This kind of negligence may be about not being able to provide safe and age-appropriate toys or it could be leaving the child in a defective crib or playpen or leaving medicines and cleaning supplies that may be within a child’s reach.
- Failing to scrutinize employees or do background check. The child will be under the care of someone who is not skillfully equipped to supervise children, thus the possibility of negligence.
These are only a few examples of behaviors that can be ground for a child injury lawsuit against a negligent daycare provider. If there are claims of child abuse, it will be more of intentional torts instead of negligence, but still taken against the daycare provider.
Seeking Legal Help
If your child becomes a victim of negligent daycare, consult your lawyer immediately to take legal action. In order to file a personal injury lawsuit against the daycare provider, you and your lawyer must be ready with evidence that the facility indeed failed to act appropriately.
You must also be able to prove that the harm caused on your child directly resulted from the negligent act of the daycare provider. In addition, you will have to show proof that the negligence of the daycare resulted to some sort of compensable injuries which they must be accountable for, such as medical expenses.
It is best to get a lawyer who has built a reputation in handling personal injury lawsuits. They can assist in building a strong case in court or help you in settling your claim. Some law firms offer free consultation.
When leaving your child in a daycare, make sure that you have made the best decision in choosing a good daycare with unstained reputation. It is not easy leaving your child in the hands of others while you are away for work, so you would only want ultimate safety and security for them.