Articles Posted in Day Camps / Summer Camps

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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
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:
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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Building Blocks - A B CWhen a child is placed under the care of a third party in the form of a nanny, babysitter, child care provider, and day care provider, it is important that the person caring for the child act in a reasonable and conscientious manner.  Certainly, the child care provider should be attentive to the needs to the child and act at all times in a calm, professional, and caring manner.  Unfortunately, far too many children suffer injuries while under the care of a third party due to inattention, neglect, distractions like a mobile phone or tablet, and other reasons. Communication and documentation can be quite helpful to parents who are concerned about the well-being and care of the child during the time periods that the child is under the care of a third party.  If the child is enrolled in a licensed day care center, there are requirements for documentation that in many instances are a bit minimal.  For children being watched by a nanny or babysitter, there are no documentation procedures or requirements in most states.  As such the care and documentation for the same are up to the respective nanny, baby sitter, or child care provider and the parents who hired the third party.  A couple in Dover New Hampshire developed a program / app called Cubby Notes which provides child care providers a tool to document the care, observations, condition, and well-being of the child while under their care. See New Hampshire Couple Develops Cubby Notes for Child Care. 
It is a tool that can and should be used by all nannies, babysitters, and child care providers.  While the app or tool is not a guarantee that a child will be well cared for, it is a useful tool that keeps the duty of care as top of mind for child care providers.  There is a maxim in the medical world as follows:  “If it is not documented – it is not done.”   This is a simple but important motto that can and should apply to the day care settings as well.
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By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

book-abcOne basic duty of every day care center is the duty of supervision. Many day care centers are located on her near busy roadways, streets, neighborhoods, and commercial developments.  As such, the duty to supervise the children is vital the health, safety, and welfare of the children enrolled in the day care program. In some instances, a child is unharmed when he or she wanders away from a day care center.  An astute bystander or police officer locates the child and returns the child to the day care center.  While the situation could have escalated into something quite horrible, the child did not receive any injuries and soon forgets about the whole incident.  On the other hand, there are incidents involving the wandering of a child away from a day care center that results in serious personal injuries and even the tragic death of the child. One such incident took place in Olathe, Kansas when a child was hit and killed by a pick up truck. The incident took place on a residential street in a vicinity near the the day care center.  The news report identified the toddler as Harper Kay Rodden.  In initial news reports, there were no details as to how the 14 month toddler had exited the day care center, how the 14 month old toddler was supervised prior to exiting the facility, what safeguards were in place for the protection and safety of the children, and what steps could have or should have been taken to protect this child from wandering out of the day care center facility.
In a day care center case, there are essentially four elements to prove:
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By David A. Wolf
Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Justice Red White and BlueWorking parents do their best to support the family.  In doing so, working families need the services of day care centers.  Most day care centers are well run by caring individuals.  However, there are many day care incidents and wrongful death incidents out there that do and should cause concern for all working parents which children enrolled in a day care center.  When a child dies, there are in many instances more questions than answers and sensible explanations for the death of the child.  It should be made clear that an infant and toddler at a day care center need supervision at all times including sleep and nap time.  When a child mysteriously dies at a day care center, there is typically an investigation by local law enforcement and the social service agency that licenses day care centers.  An autopsy should be performed to help determine the cause and preventability of the death of the child.
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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

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In schools, day care center, and summer camps, children should be cared for in a safe environment by trained and caring individuals.  The top priority for all child care facilities should be the safety of the children.  Each and every child care worker should act in the best interest of the child.  For some children however, the summer camp, day care center, or school is the site of horrendous and unforgivable acts of neglect, abuse, and molestation by the very caregivers hired and paid to watch over the children.  When a child is neglected, abusee, or molested, a civil case or claim can be pursued on behalf of the injured child through the proof of the following elements:

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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury LawyeBlog

hot-dog-4-052314-akpMost people are aware of the risk of injuries and death to children resulting from an automobile accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, and drowning.  One common cause of death that is not so obvious to some parents and caregivers involves choking on small objects.  For instance, hot dogs are particularly risky to young children.  The cylindrical, compressible object can become lodged in the airway of a child.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Bandage Child InjuryDuring the summer months, the temperature in various parts of the United States can easily exceed 100 degrees.  For children, especially those prone or susceptible to sunburn complications, the hot summer weather combined with poor supervision and common sense on the part of child care providers can combine to produce some significant sunburn related injuries.  Some sunburn injuries are so bad that they require medical care from an emergency room and / or a pediatrician. Certainly, a child can become sunburn when there is an extended time of play, sports, or outdoor activity.  The pursuit a claim or case will depend on the particular facts and circumstances as well as the significance of the injuries.  If a 8 year old child comes home with a mild sunburn, this by itself would not warrant – for practical reasons – the pursuit of a claim or a case.  However, if the child returns home with severe burns to the point that there is exposed skin and large painful blisters, then this situation could warrant the pursuit of an insurance claim or a potential lawsuit.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Building Blocks Glossy - P - Day Care CenterIt is not difficult to find stories – horror stories better yet – about unlicensed day care centers in Louisiana, Florida, and other states.   When you see a news article posted about an unlicensed day care center, you will often read about a child being injured or put at risk or danger of personal injury while under the care of the unlicensed day care center.   These child care providers are “operating in the shadows”.  Without any oversight, rules, or regulations, many unlicensed facilities do just what is necessary to convince the parents desperate for child care to part with their hard earned money.   While there are some unlicensed facilities and day care centers that happen to do just a fine job, there are so many others that are truly cutting corners and putting the dollar over safety concerns and measures for the children.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury LawyeBlog

Building Blocks Glossy - P - Day Care CenterUnfortunately, spankings and corporal punishment are still prevalent in many communities.  It is a tradition that has been literally handed down from generation to generation.  While there may be some time and family history to spankings and corporal punishment, the fact is that most States ban such activities and disciplinary measures in most day care centers and child care facilities.  Some church based or religious based institutions may have an exception from such State regulation.  Even in circumstances where spankings and corporal punishment are permitted, there are still child abuse laws in place that make it actionable or criminal if the spanking or corporal punishment is excessive and causes physical marks and / or the need for medical evaluation and treatment.  Clearly, the best way to make sure that a child is not subjected to excessive corporal punishment is just to refrain from it completely.   Corporal punishment and spankings put a child at risks especially by an adult who does not fully realize the size differential and the force that is applied when engaged in corporal punishment or spankings. Furthermore, it should be noted that many day care providers are angry when giving out punishments which can lead a day care provider to be out of control and really cause significant permanent injuries to the child.