By Scott Soutullo, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In Alabama and other States, children are injured in day care centers every day. Many of the personal injuries take place outside and in the playground area. The State of Alabama – Department of Human Resources – Minimum Standards for Child Day Care Centers – Regulations and Procedures – sets forth minimum safety requirements for playgrounds located at child day care centers.
Many injuries take place when a child falls off playground equipment. Some injuries occur when playground equipment tips over because the playground equipment is not anchored or in the alternative the playground equipment is not properly anchored or maintained. In light of these dangers, the Alabama Department of Human Resources set forth the following regulations and procedures:
*Concrete or asphalt surfaces shall not be used under playground equipment
(There is an exception for wheeled toys);
*The child day care center should make sure that the outdoor play area is well drained;
*Playground equipment that is permanent in nature shall be securely anchored so that the equipment cannot be tipped over by the force of an adult; and
*Outdoor stairways or steps shall have a child accessible handrails for safety.
Playground personal injuries to children in Alabama child day care centers can be avoided with the implementation of these safety measures. It should also be pointed out that these safety measures, regulations and procedures are the prescribed minimums for Alabama child day care centers. Even if the regulations and procedres are followed, an Alabama child day care center can also be held liable for personal injuries to a child / student if the facility or an employee was negligent in maintaining the playground environment or was negligent in the supervision of a child at the day care center. All Alabama child day care centers should follow the applicable regulations and procedures, provide diligent supervision, and use some common sense when caring for children in a day care center.