August 16, 2014

Can a Day Care Center Facility That Has Closed Its Door Be Sued for Negligence?

Police: Montco day care worker abused kids
Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 4:00 pm | Updated: 7:20 am, Wed Aug 13, 2014.
By Matt Coughlin Staff Writer
A former Whitpain KinderCare employee allegedly broke the arm of a 1-year-old, struck another in the head with a book and threatened to kill or hurt more, according to police.
The day care center’s former director is accused of failing to report the child abuse, which began in August 2013. Police said that KinderCare fired both women after learning of the allegations and the facility closed June 20 of this year, police said.

August 14, 2014

Is a Georgia Day Care Center Liable for the Death of a Child When There are Rule Violations?

By Scott Zahler, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Brunswick, Georgia and other cities, day care centers are responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the children enrolled in the program. Home based Georgia day care centers are regulated, inspected, and governed by DECAL - Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. DECAL is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia's children and their families. Here is a link to the website for the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

It was recently reported that a child was found unresponsive in a Brunswick Georgia day care center. Subsequent to the child's death, state regulators closed down the facility. The story was covered by News 4 Jax. Here is a link to the news report - Brunswick Day Care Center Closed After Boy's Death.

There were prior violations reported as to the day care center - Generations Kids Childcare. However, it should be noted that some of the violations may not have link to the child's death. For instance, there was a violation for a fence that was in disrepair. While this may have been a violation, this particular prior violation may have no link whatsoever to the death of the child at this Georgia day care center. Is a day care center liable for a child's death when there are violations of applicable regulations? The answer is not so simple. It depends on the nature of the violation and the link or relationship to the child's death. Here are the four elements of a civil case for the wrongful death of a child:

1. Duty;

2. Breach of Duty;

3. Causation; and

4. Damages.

All four elements must be met in order to be able to pursue a civil case or claim for the alleged wrongful death of a child at a day care center. As you can see above, the third element - Causation - is one of the four elements. The Causation element is often the most difficult element to prove as part of a case against a day care center, school, business, or other entity involved with the care and supervision of a child. Here are some the questions or issues that are evaluated as part of child death cases:

How was the child's health prior to the incident?

What violations were found at the day care center?

What did the autopsy reveal as to the cause and mechanism of death?

Was the incident preventable?

What could the day care center have done to prevent the incident from taking place?

If the incident happened during sleep or rest time, how was the sleeping area set up?

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

August 14, 2014

Are Infants at Risk During Sleep Time at Day Care Centers?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In California and other States, parents depend on day care center to watch over their children while they are at work. Most people recognize that there may be dangers in a day care center in the form of a swimming pool, aggressive dog, sharp objects, poisons, traffic, and other dangers. Many people, however, do not realize that it can also be quite dangerous for a child especially an infant at a day care center during sleep time or nap time. There is a risks of suffocation, asphyixation, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) when an infant is placed in an unsafe sleeping environment. Here are some risks that may be present in the day care center:

1. Loose blankets in the sleeping area;

2. Pillows;

3. Soft mattresses that are not manufactured for infant sleeping areas;

4. Stuffed animals;

5. Boppy pillows (crescent shaped pillows);

6. Small objectst that present a choking hazard; and

7. Cords from window shades and coverings.

It is important that the sleeping area is regularly maintained and constantly monitored especially for infants. In a matter of just seconds, a child's life may be put in danger. Sleep time is not the time for staff members to multi-tasks or play on their mobile devices. It is a time to be constantly and viligantly monitoring the children in the day care center during all times of the day including but not limited to sleep or nap time.

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, Amusement and Theme Park Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

August 13, 2014

Is a Day Care Center Responsible for the Death of a Child Found Unresponsive at the Day Care Center?

By Scott Zahler, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Brunswick, Georgia and other cities throughout the United States, parents rely upon day care centers for the supervision of their children. Most children are cared for in a supportive learning environment that truly focuses on the best interests of the children. At times, children are injured and even die while under the care of a care care center. Is a day care center automatically liable when a child is injured or when a child dies while under the supervision of the day care center? The simple answer to this question is "No". A day care center is not automatically liable but is potentially liable if a parent can prove the following elements to a case:

1. Duty;
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
4. Damages.

Each element is essential to pursuing a claim or case on behalf of the family of the child who died at a day care center. Typically, a family will be well served by being represented by a Child Injury Lawyer. Personal injury cases are quite complicated and the laws regulating day care centers and governing wrongful death cases can be quite confusing.

There was a recent news report that a child was found unresponsive at a day care center located in Brunswick, Georgia. It was reported by New 4 Jacksonville and other media outlets that a child was found unresponsive by day care center employees and then CPR was initiated. The child was subsequently transported to the South East Georgia Health Center where the child was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be performed by authorities. You can read more about this story at Child Found Unresponsive at Brunswick Georgia Day Care Center.

The results of an autopsy in a case of this nature may reveal important details as to the cause and mechanism of death. However, it is quite possible that all questions are not answered through the forensic and / or scientific information obtained through the autopsy. In addition to an autopsy, authoriites may also obtain statements from the day care center employees and perform a detailed analysis of the area where the child was found to be unresponsive.

When a child dies, there are no words that can describe the loss of the parents or family for that matter. This is especially true when the child is an infant and the death was wholly unexpected. The word "shocking" does not even begin to describe the loss to the family and the community when a child dies.

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parents Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Child Abuse, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

August 13, 2014

What are Common Dangers in Apartment Complexes, Hotels, and Motels for Children? (Windows)

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Seattle Washington and other cities throughout the United States, there is a common danger in many apartment complexes, hotels, and motels. An unsecured window can present a great danger to children of all ages and sizes. A thin screen is typically insufficient to serve as a safety device. This is evident by the thousands of injuries that take place every year resulting from falls from unsecured window areas. A tragic incident was recently reported in Seattle Washington in which a 2 year old child fell from a third story window in an apartment building operated by the Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services. You can read more about this story at 2 Year Old Suffers Fatal Personal Injuries From Fall Out of Third Floor Window.

Child safety advocates believe that public awareness of this issue combined with safety devices can go a long way to preventing these injuries. The thousands upon thousands of injuries to children should be a wake up call to building owners, operators, managers, and residents to take action to protect children. While a screen may look sturdy, it typically cannot withstand the weight or force of even a small children. Do not leave things to chance and put children in harm's way.

When a child is injured or dies as a result of the negligence of others, insurance claims and litigation can be quite daunting for the parents dealing with the aftermath of the incident. There are bills to pay and other pressures for parents to deal with. Furthermore, navigating through laws and regulations can be quite complicated and confusing. A Child Injury Lawyer can help direct and guide a parent through the process necessasry to secure fair and reasonable compensation for the injured child and / or the parents of the injured child.

The book - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Homeowner's Insurance, Shopping Center Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

August 4, 2014

What Safety Precautions Should Be Taken To Help Prevent School Bus Related Personal Injuries?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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During the school year as well as summer months, school buses are on the road. Unfortunately, children are injured while riding school buses, while standing at bus stops, and while loading school buses. Because of the risks of injury, it is important for parent, children, camps, and schools to follow up simple steps. This, in turn, will prevent many personal injuries from taking place.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/topics/HealthDay690250_20140801_Expert_Offers_School_Bus_Safety_Tips.html

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 140 people die every year in accidents related to school transportation in the United States.

But there are several simple ways to prevent school bus-related catastrophes, Dawne Gardner, injury prevention coordinator at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center's Comprehensive Children's Injury Center, said in a medical center news release.

"As families begin to prepare for children returning to school, it's important for parents and children to go over school bus safety tips together," Gardner said. "This will help ensure a safe, enjoyable start to the school year for everyone."

It's especially important, she said, to take care when kids are getting on or off a school bus. "A blind spot extends about 10 feet in front of the bus, obstructing the driver's view," she says. "Often times, children are not aware of this blind spot and might mistakenly believe that if they can see the bus, the bus driver can see them."

Here are some of Gardner's tips on how to avoid accidents:

To keep them out of the blind spot, encourage kids to stay 10 feet away from the front or back of the school bus.
Get children to the school bus stop at least 5 minutes early so they won't put themselves at risk by running to catch the bus.
Teach kids to avoid horseplay while waiting for the bus. This will prevent children and their belongings from ending up in the roadway.
Tell kids to take three big steps backwards from the curb when a bus arrives. Don't start approaching the bus until it has stopped and its doors are open.
Also, children should take care getting on the bus. They should let the driver know if they drop something and make sure the driver can see them if they try to pick it up. They should use handrails and be careful to not catch drawstrings, backpack straps, scarves and loose clothing on rails, doors or seats.

In addition, kids should remain seated and face forward, avoid yelling and horseplay in the bus, and never throw anything.

When it's time to leave the bus, kids should wait for a complete stop before getting up from their seats. They should use handrails and take five big steps in front of the bus while making eye contact with the driver. The child should cross only when the driver says it's safe and look left, right and left again prior to walking across the street.

More information

For more about school bus safety, try the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, news release, July 28, 2014

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/topics/HealthDay690250_20140801_Expert_Offers_School_Bus_Safety_Tips.html#DmWeMEERh7CuYv0T.99

August 1, 2014

Should a Day Care Center Have Policies in Place for Sleep and Nap Time? (Tragic Death Reported in Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In South Dakota and other States, there is a time during the day that a child is put at risk even though it is not so obvious to some child care providers. That time of day is sleep time or nap time. A child is put at risk for serious personal injury and even death if a child is put to sleep in a dangerous position. A child is also put at risk when there is a lack of ongoing supervision during sleep or nap time. Because of these significant risk, a day care center should have policies in place for sleep and nap time. Bedding materials should be carefully selected and all other hazards including pillows, blankets, window cords, and stuffed animals.

Many people are under the impression that a crib or an enclosed sleeping area is the safest area in a day care center for child. This is not an accurate statement. The sleeping area can be the last place where a child takes a breath in life. This is especially true when an infant is placed to sleep on his or her stomach or on a soft object like a pillow, stuffed animal, or blanket. These items can cause a child to suffocate or asphyixate during sleep time. When this is combined with a lack of supervision, a child can die at the very day care center where the child is supposed to be cared for and supervised by a trained and attentive staff. Sleep time is not the time at any day care center for a child care provider to multi-task and take care of other work related items like cleaning, cooking, or caring for other children in other parts of the facility.

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, it was reported that a child was put down to sleep on his stomach while swaddled in a blanket. After an investigation, it was determined that the cause of death was due to asphyixia. As a result of this incident and findings by local authorities, the day care provider was charged criminally with the accidental or negligent death of this child. You can read more about this story at Day Care Provider Charged in Accidental Death of Child -Sioux City, South Dakota.

When a child is injured or dies as a result of the negligence or fault of a day care provider, a parent is faced with many challenges and questions. The book - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Water Park and Swimming Related Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

July 30, 2014

What are the Dangers of Old Building and Window Codes to Children?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Missouri and other States, there are dangers in virtually every community in the form of old buildings and old building codes. In Springfield, Missouri and other cities, many buildings are not subject to current building codes. Some of the newer codes require stricter regulations as to the construction and security in and around windows. This can be especially dangerous for children living in or visiting multi-story townhouses, homes, apartment complexes, and commercial buildings. With older codes, there are less restrictions as to window barriers and screens. This, in turn, can present a danger to children. It was reported in Springfield, Missouri recently that a 4 year old fell put of a third floor window and tragically died from the fall related personal injuries. See 4 Year Old Child Dies in Springfield, Missouri.

Here are some recommended safety tips for children and windows in any building from the first floor up . . .

*Keep playing children away from windows;

*Parents and child care providers should not rely on screens as safety devices in and around windows;

*Keep furniture away from windows to the extent possible to avoid providing a child with a play type or climbing structure near the windows; and

*Use safety devices like window stops to keep the windows from opening large enough for a child to climb through the window

July 29, 2014

What if a Child is Sexually Molested at a Day Care Center? (Rights, Causes of Action, and Proceedings)

By Jonathan Safran, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Wisconsin and other States, day care centers should be safe havens for children. They should be placed where children are well cared for in supportive, nurturing environment. Unfortunately, some day care center employees and volunteers abuse the children under the care of a day care center. These reckless employees and volunteers use their positions of trust to prey on children. Some are caught while many others go undetected only to go on to abuse more children along the way.

When there is abuse (whether violent or sexual in nature) reported or suspected at a day care center, the management at the day care center should take the allegations quite seriously and spring into action. All suspected incidents of abuse and neglect should be reported to the State agency regulating and licensing day care centers. State authorities can take action to investigate the incident and put precautions in place to protect the child and others from any situations where there may be ongoing occurences of abuse, neglect, and / or molestation.

When a child is abused or neglected, there can be the following legan venues in which legal actions can be taken:

Administrative Action. This is where the State social services agency and other government agencies step in to fine the facility, place the facility on suspension, and / or revoke the license of the facility. Action can also be taken to require the day care center and its staff to have additional training and to make recommended repairs and maintence of the facility.

Criminal Action. Law enforcement and prosecutors can file criminal charges against a person if the actions were reckless or intentional in nature. The filing of criminal charges often depends on the evidence and proof that can be admitted to establish the elements of a crime.

Civil Action. This is a private action by the parents of an injured child to seek compensation from the day care center owner, facility, and / or the insurance carrier for damages caused by the abuse, neglect, and / or molestation. The element of a civil case against a day care center are as follows:

1. Duty;

2. Breach of Duty;

3. Causation; and

4. Damages.

It was reported in Madison, Wiscosnin that the State revoked the license of a day care center - Red Caboose Day Care Center. See Day Care Center License Revoked. It was alleged that a volunteer molested a child at the day care center and was allowed to continue to interact with the children even after the incidents were reported to the day care center management.

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

July 28, 2014

What Kind of Research Can Parents Conduct As to a Day Care Center? (State of Tennessee)

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


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When deciding on the selection of a day care center OR when deciding on the continuation of care with a day care center, a parent should do his or her homework. This includes checking with the local State agency that licenses and regulates day care centers to find out the following:

The type of license held by the day care center;

The capacity of the day care center;

The staff in place at the day care center;

The training of the staff at the day care center; and

Violations of the day care center.

In the State of Tennessee, the Department of Human Services provides information to parents online as to the prior violations of day care centers licensed in the State of Tennessee. This information can provide parents some guidance and direction as to the choice of child care providers. See Day Care Center Violations - State of Tennesee Website.

A parent should ask the day care center operator questions as to its license, prior inspections, and staffing. A day care center should be evaluated on the whole rather than one incident; however, if there is a pattern of violations or ones that put the children in danger, a parent should consider these factors in deciding on the placement or the continued placement of a child for day care services.

The book - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know- has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

July 27, 2014

What are the Rights of a Child Injured as a Passenger on School Bus or Day Care Center Van?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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During both the school year and summer time, children are transported by school buses and day care center vans. If a child is injured while being transported, what are the rights of the injured child? There are a few factors to consider regarding these personal injuries:

1. The injured child may have a cause of action or a claim against the at-fault driver and / or owner of the at-fault vehicle.

2. There may be more than one driver at fault for the accident or the crash. This may then present for a case against multiple parties.

3. There may be some restrictions if the at fault driver or owner of the at fault vehicle is a government entity.

4. The value of a case is dependent on a number of factors including the severity of the injuries, extent of the medical bills, amount of insurance coverage, number of claimants, and other factors.

Depending on the applicable State laws in effect, a case may be presented as the government entity if it was a public school driver who was at fault for the accident. Many States have restrictions and limitations against government lawsuits. If another driver is involved, there may be issues about insurance coverage. These are just a few of many factors that are considered regarding child injuries following a school bus accident or day care center van accident.

A good and easy to understand book is titled - When the Wheels Stop Spinning - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. This book ha chapters on Damages - Compensation, Automobile Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Insurance Laws and Common Questions, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.

July 26, 2014

A Parent's Dilemma - My Child Was Hurt at a Day Care Center - What Should I Do Next?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Parents rely upon day care centers for the supervision and education of their children. Day care is a necessity in order to allow parents to fulfill their work commitments and provide for their families. A quality day care center focuses on the needs, safety, and the best interests of the children. At times, children are injured while under the supevision of a day care center which then presents a whole host of challenges for the parents.

It can be quite frightening for a parent to arrive at the day care center and see his or her child with visible personal injuries. It is even more frightening when a parent has to rush a child to an emergency room in the aftermath of an incident at a day care center. Of course, the most important thing to do up front is get the child the medical care and tension make sure the needs of the child the physical and medical needs of the child. Yes, get the child stablized and get the necessary medical care in place as needed.

Once the up front medical care is taken care of, a parent is often faced with a dilemma what to do next. Here are some of the issues or challenges facing a parent dealing with the needs of an injured child:

How should the injuries be documented? Photographs? Videotape? Medical Records?

Where should the child get follow up medical care?

What should a parent do if there is no health insurance in place for the child?

Is the day care center going to automatically pay for the child's medical care?

What if the day care center has liability insurance?

What if the day care center does not have liability insurance?

Should the child return to the day care center for child care?

Should the State agency licensing day care centers be contacted?

Should the Police be contacted about the day care center injuries?

Should the worker involved with the incidnt be suspended? fired?

Should the parent contact an attorney for advice and / or representation?

A Child Injury Lawyer can help the parent figure out the facts or investigate the situation further. A Child Injury Lawyer can help explain the legal process involved with any pending or potential civil, criminal, and / or adminstrative matter.

When a child is injured, what is the next step that a parent should take? Well, that is a simple question but not one that can easily be answered across the board. Every case should be evaluated on its own facts and merits. The next step to take will also depend on the extent of the injuries and the goals and comfort level of the parents.

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

 
 
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