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By David A. Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Child Care Toys - SupervisionIn California and other States, children are supervised or placed in a child care setting at a gym, fitness facility, and other “non-traditional” location. In California, licensing is not required for many of these so called child care programs.  As such, there is limited to no oversight of the child care program, facilities, and training.  This, in turn, may put a child at risk for personal injuries while being supervised, placed, or merely just physically present in the “child care” part of the gym, fitness facility, and other “non-traditional” location.  Even without the imposition of the state mandated and controlled day care center regulations, gyms, fitness facilities, and other locations still have duties of reasonable care when such locations take on the responsibility for watching or supervision children.

A Bay Club fitness facility in San Francisco, California, currently awaits trial for this very issue. Two years ago, a young boy suffered a head injury when his mother dropped him off at a childcare center in this health club. The childcare worker at the facility did not see the injury occur, but the children who witnessed it said, “Roman ran into the window and fell down.” As a result of the injury, the young boy is now undergoing speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder therapy. See Exclusive: Bay Club in San Francisco  Faces Trial After Child Injured.

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By David A. Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

Toy Blocks E & AIn Minnesota and other States, working parents rely on day care centers so that the parents can provide for their children.  While parents, given a choice, would have one parent at home or a family member at home to raise the child during the tender years, the economic realities of life make it necessary to put a child in a day care program.  Some day care programs are excellent while others are operated by ill equipped and trained people who open a day care center for the sole purpose of making a living.  The substandard day care centers often fail to get licenses, fail to train their staff, and fail to look after the best interest of the child.  In addition to training of staff and maintaining a safe environment, there is something else that is needed in every day care center in the form of “patience”.  It is well known that children, especially infants, will cry and fuss.  Because of this, it does take a certain temperament, personality, and, yes, patience to properly care for a child in a day care center.

A bizarre set of facts took place recently in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It was reported that a day care center provider got fed up with her job and placed a child in a noose to hang the child. The day care provider then took off in a vehicle in a hurry and then got into an automobile accident that was reportedly her fault.  You can read more about these incidents at Day Care Center Faces Criminal Charges in Minneapolis Minnesota Following Hanging of Baby.

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By David A. Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

4_ToysA recent video emerged after a young boy was seen catching his infant sibling falling off a changing table. His keen instincts and quick reflexes prevented what could have been a terrible misfortune. Yet, while this event occurred in his home, there are similar risks and hazards in day care centers throughout the United States.  See Young Boy Catches Infant Who Falls Off of Diaper Changing Table.

In day care centers, there is a common area or piece of furniture that can be a danger or hazard for infants:  the diaper changing table.  The use of a diaper changing table makes it easier for the child care provider to change the diaper and otherwise attend to the infant; however, if a child care provider turns his or her back for even a moment, a child can fall off of a changing table.  While it is reasonable and common to have a diaper changing table at a day care center, due care must be taken to protect infants from falls off of a changing table which can result from the negligence or inattention of a child care provider.

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

book4In Tennessee and other States, parents rely upon bus transporation for their children during the school year. Most bus rides to and from school are quite uneventful which is a good thing. There are days in which a school bus accident results in serious personal injury and even death to innocent children riding a school bus. From a legal standpoint, a school bus accident case can be quite complex. If a public or government entity is involved, there can be procedures to go through and caps or limits on the amount of damages that can be recovered. In addition, a school bus crash often involves multiple victims and families who may be arguably competing for a limited pool of money or insurance. It was recently reported that there was a deadly school bus accident in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In multiple media outlets, the crash involved a single school bus that turned over on its side after hitting a tree. There were 35 students on the bus with 23 individuals transported to the hospital for medical care. Tragically, initial reports indicated that there were 6 fatalities / deaths resulting from this school bus crash. Due to the nature of the crash, serious personal injuries, and deaths, local and state police officials will conduct a detailed investigation to determine the cause, manner, mechanism, and preventability of this Tennessee school bus crash.

In the State of Tennessee and other states, government entities are protected some extent from lawsuits and personal injury claims. The manner in which a government entity can be sued is typically proscribed by statute. In Tennessee, a claim or case can be pursued against a government entity for the negligent driving of an employee, official, or agent of the government. While a claim or case can be pursued, there are caps or limits to recovery in Tennessee. An individual or surviving family member can recover up to $300,000 incident; however, there is an aggregate cap of $700,000 per incident. As such, the amount that a government entity can be held liable for in a school bus crash in Tennessee can be quite limited if there are more than a couple of claims. Certainly, the financial recovery in a wrongful death case against a private entity or individual can easily exceed the $300,000 as provided in Tennessee law.

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Toy Train.001In Utah and other states, day care centers have a duty to provide a reasonably safe educational environment for the children enrolled in the program.  It is important that the day care center follow all licensing requirements and have trained staff in place to meet the needs of the children. Supervision  and attentiveness are vital to the safety and welfare of the children.  The level of supervision will depend on the type of facility, number of children, age of the children, special needs of the children, time of the day, activity and other factors.  There are dangers lurking at all times that an infant or toddler is being cared for in a day care center. It is vital for staff members to be aware of the dangers and remove or prevent all such dangerous situations to the best of the ability and foresight of the day care center.

A recent tragedy was reported in at a West Jordan, Utah day care center.  It as reported that a toddler – Leonardo “Leo” Sanchez – crawled under a bean bag and ultimately suffocated.  A seemingly simple object – a bean bag chair – turned out to be a very dangerous object in a day care center for a small child like Leo Sanchez.  It is well known that small children are curious and will crawl into or go into areas which can be quite dangerous.  Another dangerous situation or object for a toddler or infant in a day care center is an unanchored dresser or TV stand.  There have been a number of reports of children being injured or even dying as a result of a dresser, TV stand, or TV that has fallen over on top of a child.  Sleeping and napping time can also present dangers as well to infants.  A stuffed animal or blanket can cause a child to suffocate during this otherwise seemingly safe part of a day care center.

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

4_ToysWhile enrolled in a day care center, a child should be supervised in an environment that is safe and free from hazards.  The day care center should follow its own policies and procedures as well as the policies and procedures set forth by state and local licensing agencies and laws.  It is difficult to legislate or regulate every since situation or care provisions that take place in a day care center.  Furthermore, it should be noted that common sense can be used in the day care center. If something seems dangerous or risky to a child, then the hazard should be removed.  It is well known that children are curious and lack safety awareness.  As such, anything within reach of a child that can cause harm should be kept away from a child.  This includes but it not limited to hot water, liquids, food, ovens, burners, and other items that can and will cause burn type of injuries to a child.  When a child is burned, first aid should be provided and the parents and when necessary fire rescue / emergency services should be called in.

A civil case on behalf of child involves four essential elements:

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Amusement Park Personal Injuries.001In Tennessee and other States, there have been reported incidents or accidents at theme parks or amusement parks involving children.  Amusement parks and theme parks welcome children and specifically advertise to families and children.  As such, the owners and operators of amusement parks and theme parks should make sure that the rides are safe, that the rides are well maintained, and that the rides are properly supervised by trained and diligent ride attendants.   When an adult or child is injured at a theme park or amusement park, there are essentially four legal elements to prove to establish as claim or case:

1. Duty;

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Trampoline Park and Bounce House Personal Injuries.001Over the past few years, there has been a growth in the number and presence of trampoline parks and indoor bounce house locations and facilities.  While these recreation, sports, amusement park, and theme park attractions can be great ways to have fun and exercise, they are also the locations of unfortunate and preventable injuries to children.  There are risks with any forms of physical activity and sports.  There are also safety measures and rules that should be followed to reduce these risks. If children, parents, and facility supervisors follow and enforce the rules and safety measures, many personal injuries can be prevented.
When a child is a guest or visitor to a trampoline park or bounce house, there is a duty on the part of the trampoline park / bounce house operator and owner to provide a reasonably safe play environment for the children.  The duty is one of the four elements necessary to prove up a case for personal injuries on behalf of the injured child.  The four elements are as the following:
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by David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Amusement Park.001In Kansas and throughout the United States, adults, children, and families visit theme parks, amusement parks, and water parks. For most guests and visitors, the days and nights are filled with fun, adventure, laughter, and good times. Unfortunate for some children and adults, the theme park, amusement park, or water park is the site of a catastrophic personal injury or death.  When a business operates or manages a recreation areas, there is a duty to keep the grounds, rides, and attractions in good repair and to have attentive ride operators, supervisors, and lifeguards in place for the safety and protection of the guests and visitors especially children.  Theme parks, amusement parks, and water parks invite and market to families and children. As such, all safety measures should be set up for the protection of the smaller and younger guest in the form of children.   Like other types of personal injury cases or claims there are four essential elements to pursue a civil case or claim on behalf of the injury victim as follows:
  1. Duty;
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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Day Care Video Surveillance.001When a child is injured at a day care center, it can at times be a mystery as to how and why the child was injured.  This is especially true when a day care center work lies or hides acts of abuse, neglect, and corporal punishment.  Video surveillance, at times, captures the very acts of abuse or neglect inflicted by the very same day care center providers who have the legal duty to protect, support, education, and care for the child.  Most states prohibit any kind of corporal punishment and criminalize the acts.  As such, if a day care center work strikes a child, criminal charges can be brought against the day care center work; however, it should be noted that the criminal prosecution of a day care center worker caught on video hitting a child is not automatic.
Each incident or case is evaluated by the local law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office to determine if a crime was committed and if enough evidence can be presented to successfully prosecute the day care center worker.  If bad acts are caught on video, many people may assume that the day care center work is going to jail or prison; however, no assumptions or presumptions should be made on any particular case as to criminal prosecution.  Furthermore, it should be noted that the pursuit of a civil case is also something that needs further review by the parents and a Child Injury Lawyer as to the elements of the case and the practicality of pursuing the case.  The elements of a civil case or claim for day care center negligence, harm, assault, or corporal punishment are as follows: