Articles Posted in Day Camps / Summer Camps

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By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer
Playground-300x188In Oregon and other States, there are dangers in day care centers. Certainly, having a license is a good “sign” for a day care center. That means that the day care center has complied (in most cases) with the State’s minimum mandatory requirements and otherwise has acted in a manner that has enabled the day care center to maintain its license and ability to operate as a facility in good standing.  However, it should be noted that a day care center license does not mean that a day care center is an absolutely safe haven for a child enrolled in the program.  The truth of the matter is that day care centers and its employees have an ongoing duty and responsibility to provide constant and reasonable supervision of the children under the care of the day care center.
It was recently reported by Oregon media sources that there are dangers in Oregon day care centers.  There were a number of examples noted in the article including a day care center that allowed an autistic child to walk out of facility and into the potential harm of traffic, another day care center that allowed a young child to play on a climbing wall with a lanyard on the child both of which presented a significant risks of handling, a fall, and asphyxiation.  There are other examples mentioned in the article as well.  You can read more about the dangers in Oregon day care centers along with comments about the regulations that have become somewhat stagnant at Dangers and Risks of Personal Injuries in Oregon Day Care Centers
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By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

Day-Care-Playground-300x233Day care centers are commonly used by a families in need of child care due to work or personal commitments.  There are millions of single parent households and dual income households which necessitate the use of day care centers / child care centers to supervise children during the work day.  When a parent or guardian checks their child in to a day care center, they are putting their trust in a facility that should be trustworthy. The day care should be providing an environment which is safe and comforting for the parent, consisting of abundant supervision. It is reasonable for parents and guardians to expect that a day care center will provide a safe, loving, and educational environment for their children.  Personal injuries result from carelessness, negligence, and just a lack of common sense in many instances in day care centers.  Furthermore, some injuries result from intentional acts and let’s face it – just the shear stupidity of some child care providers who, at times, put their own interests ahead of those of the children.   In New Jersey, it was reported that two day care workers were encouraged and filmed a  Fight Club type of activity with the children enrolled in the day care center. Certainly, it is careless and reckless to encourage children to fight at a day care center or any other school or summer camp.

There are four elements that must be established for a strong claim against a day care center:

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By, David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

Teddy-Bear-300x289In Arkansas and other States, children enrolled in day care centers and other summer programs are at risks for injury and death during transportation and services.  There is a simple way to prevent these hot car deaths and hot van deaths from taking place.  In fact, these injuries and deaths can be avoided with a watch eye, clipboard, attendance list, and a pen.  It is vital that all day center providers and summer camps take roll call whenever the van, bus, or vehicle is loaded or unloaded.  All children must be accounted for at all times.  Furthermore, whenever a bus, van, or other mode of transportation is stopped without supervision onboard and without proper ventilation and air conditioning, there should be a physical and verbal sweep of the bus, van, or vehicle to make sure that all children are off the bus.  What happens when a child is left on a bus, van, or other vehicle during periods of warm or hot weather?  Well, the headlines speak for themselves when there is a report of yet another hot van or hot bus death involving a school, summer camp or day care center.

In West Memphis, Arkansas, it was reported that 5 year boy (Christopher Gardner Junior) died as a result of being left in a day care center van. It was reported that the temperature in the van once the vehicle was turned off reached 141 degrees Fahrenheit.  Tragically, Christopher was left on the van for 8 hours when he was finally located in the afternoon.  Certainly, this was a tragic event and day for Christopher’s family, extended family, friends, neighbors, and the community.  It was also reported that Christopher was signed into the facility in the morning.  It would appear that this was done without truly accounting for Christopher’s whereabouts.  Again, a watchful eye, attentiveness, and the dedicated use of a roll call list whether with pen and paper or an iPad or other electronic device would have avoid the tragic consequences as reported in West Memphis.

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By David Wolf, Attorney

Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Ear-Injuries-300x292When a child is enrolled at a day care center, school or summer camp, it is the duty on the teachers, assistants, counselors and staff to provide a reasonably safe educational and play environment for the children.  Unfortunately, far too many children are injured on a daily basis due to negligent supervision, neglect, negligence, and even by the intentional harmful acts of the very people responsible for the safety and well being of the children.  When a child is injured due to the fault of another person, business entry, school, day care center or summer camp, there may be a case or claim brought against the wrongdoer.  From a practical standpoint, it is helpful if there is liability insurance in place to cover or pay for such claims / damages.

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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

ABCs-on-Green-Background-Day-Care-Center-Injuries-150x150

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: