By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer
Day care centers are commonly used by families all over the country. Parents assume that children are being cared for in a supportive learning environment by caring child care providers. Child care workers are expected to be responsible, dependable, and patient. Training should be completed pursuant to state and local day care regulations for each worker to to being officially employed by the day care center.
Video surveillance at a day care center can help document many incidents that in the past were “swept under the rug” or hidden by the day care center. Without the benefit of video surveillance, many incidents of child abuse were kept quiet. Day care center workers would claim ignorance, “I do not know what happened.” Alternatively, the day care center worker would make up a story, “Johnny fell while running on the playground.”
When a parent or family members considers the risks or dangers of a child being injured while in the care of a day care center, it is usually in the context of the child being injured while under the supervision of the center as opposed to being directly harmed by the individual watching / caring for them. The latter does unfortunately happen, however, such as a recent incident in Pennsylvania in which a day care worker horrifically pushed a four-year-old down a staircase. The incident was caught and preserved on video. You can read more about the story and see the brief and disturbing video at Day Care Center Worker Pushes Child Down Stairs.
There are many variations of this that can occur, such as injury as a result of aggressive discipline, accidental harm, or straightforward abuse, to name a few. When considering these terrible incidents in terms of the law, four elements must be considered:
Breach of Duty
The duty of a day care center is to provide a safe environment for the children in its care, leaving the families of the children comforted rather than concerned. When an employee works at a day care center, it is expected that the day care center has the ability, skill, and patience to work with and supervise children. When a day care center worker fails to honor his or her duty to care for a child in a supportive manner, there is a breach of duty. This breach of duty by the day care center employee can cause the child harm and/or injuries, either physical, emotional, or both. The harm and the injuries that were caused by the day care employee can, in turn, cause damages in the form of past and future medical bills, pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In the aftermath of a child injury caused by negligent supervision, child abuse, corporal punishment, or some other cause at a day care center, school, summer camp, or other location, a parent or guardians should seek advice from a qualified and experienced Child Injury Lawyer. David Wolf has devoted the past 26 years to the protection and enforcement of the legal rights of children as an author, advocate, and attorney. He is the author of 11 books including the book titled – Broken Trust – Abuse, Neglect, and Molestation – Legal Rights of the Injured Child. You can get this book for free at Broken Trust.