Articles Posted in Day Care Centers and Child Care

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Hospital-Injuries-from-Fall-300x231There is a dangerous location in homes and day care centers that may not be so obvious. The location involves soft furniture like a sofa or bed. An infant or toddler left on a bed or sofa can suffer a fall, which can result in head injuries, extremity injuries and other injuries. The statistics from such injuries are quite alarming. Unfortunately, many parents, babysitters, and child care providers do not recognize the dangers of a fall from soft furniture until there is an injury or incident.

Newly released statistics demonstrate that falls from seemingly safe, soft furniture—like couches and beds—have now become the number one cause of injury for children ages four and under in the United States. Falls from soft furniture also present the leading cause of trauma for infants in the United States. These statistics, originally presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual conference this year, come from an aggregation of data from emergency rooms over the past decade. Analysis of these statistics reveals that injuries from soft furniture falls occur at more than double the rate of the second leading cause of injury to children younger than five years old—stairs. Analysis also indicates that boys tend to sustain these injuries more frequently than girls and that younger children present a greater risk of injury than older children.

Despite these alarming statistics, precautions can help reduce the rates of these injuries. Kids Health, a division of Nemours Children’s Hospital, recommends various techniques to reduce the likelihood of a child sustaining injuries from beds and sofas. These recommendations include: never leaving children unattended on soft furniture, removing children from soft furniture if one must leave for even a moment, holding children while on soft furniture if one uses a phone or another object that may distract from complete supervision, implementing bed rails, and teaching children how to properly climb on and off of soft furniture safely once they reach an appropriate age to learn this. Adults should also learn CPR and keep a first aid kit handy, just in case a child falls and sustains injuries. See Falls from Soft Furniture – Safety Precautions. 

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In day care centers in Wisconsin and throughout the rest of the nation, there is a population of children at risk for harm when placed in a day care center – infants. Working parents rely upon day care centers to provide a safe haven for their children. These parents do not have much of a choice due to work, financial, and personal constraints of life. A dedicated and professionally trained nanny would be nice but most people cannot afford such a luxury. While most infants placed in day care centers do just fine, others suffer personal injuries and even death in the very environment where the children are supposed to be safe and well cared for.

A recent tragedy in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin exemplifies the sad reality of these incidents. News reports indicate that a ten-year-old girl attending the same day care as a six-month-old baby boy allegedly abused a child after dropping him while holding him. It was reported that the young girl admitted to stomping on the baby’s head because the baby began to cry after she accidentally dropped the baby. Consequently, the infant sustained serious head trauma and died in the hospital two days later.

At the time of the infant’s tragic death, one adult and two other children were present at the daycare. This raises questions about supervision requirements in childcare facilities and the other safety requirements necessary in such places. The Early Childhood Knowledge and Learning Center recommends active supervision of all children in childcare locations, especially infants. It asserts that an adult should be accessible and supervising all children at all times. In order to achieve this, the Early Childhood Knowledge and Learning Center suggests that childcare facilities plan out staff positioning in rooms, continually scan and count the children in the room, listen for signs of danger, anticipate children’s behavior, and set up an environment conducive to all children remaining in the constant sight of an adult. Childcare centers should also separate children of differing age groups.  See Day Center Supervision Recommendations.

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Day-Care-Sleep-Practices-300x195One would think that the safest place for a child to be at a day care center is in a crib or sleeping area. In actuality, the crib or sleeping area in a day care center could be quite a dangerous place for a child. In fact, some children even die while being supervised in a crib or sleeping area in a day care center. Actually, the so called supervision is lacking. In addition, the term “supervision” is an overstatement in these situations. In actuality, the supervision is wholly lacking. The simple but dangerous act of putting a blanket or a soft stuffed animal in the crib or sleeping area of the child can lead to catastrophic results in the form of serious personal injuries and even the death of a child.

An incident out of Tennessee demonstrates how something as peaceful and innocent as nap time can quickly turn injurious. It was reported that a nine-month-old baby was found sweating profusely and tied up by a sheet in a pack n’ play crib at his daycare center. The day care reportedly indicated that it used the blanket to restrain the infant during nap time, in order to prevent the baby from “wallowing” around while he slept. According to the news reports, use of a blanket in the sleeping quarters of a baby violates existing safety procedures in place at day cares. The Department of Human Services found other infants napping at this day care covered in blankets upon investigating the center after the parents of the nine-month-old reported the incident.

Events like these must be taken seriously because of the dangers bedding presents to small children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, blankets and pillows present special risks to babies that they do not present to adults or even older children. For example, an average of thirty-two babies die each year from pillows because of the suffocation risk they present. Pillows can block the nose and mouth of a baby, who unlike an adult or an older child, may not be able to move or roll over to get oxygen. Accordingly, pillows are not recommended for children under one and a half years of age. Blankets and toys present a similar risk as well as the additional risk of becoming wrapped around a child’s neck. Use of pillows, blankets, and toys also create a cluttered sleeping space for a baby; studies show a cluttered sleeping space increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS, which causes infants to pass away in their sleep. Thus, practicing safe sleep techniques with infants is critical. See Consumer Product Safety Commission – Safe Sleeping Tips.

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ABC-Blocks-300x290In Arkansas and other states, parents rely upon day care centers to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment during the workday. For those who choose to own a day care center or work in one, it is important that safety needs of all the children, especially infants and toddlers, are met. Unfortunately for far too many children, injuries and incidents take place that are otherwise avoidable and preventable. In particular, injuries and incidents tend to take place when older children are permitted to play in an area occupied by much younger children. For instance, a 10 year old who has issues with hyperactivity and space issues should not be placed in the same room with an infant or toddler. Most states have rules and regulations in place regarding staff-to-child ratios and the proper supervision and separation of children by age in the day care setting.

Despite these requirements, injuries to children in day care centers still occur. As recently reported in the news of Arkansas, bite injuries are an example of potential harm that can come to children in day care. According to Mayo Clinic, human bite injuries can be even more dangerous than animal bites because of the differing strains of bacteria and viruses contained in human mouths. Correspondingly, children who sustain these types of injuries should seek medical attention because a tetanus shot may be necessary or an infection may arise. See Mayo Clinic – Risks of Infection – Human Bites. Therefore, biting is a potentially serious problem and should be avoided through consistent supervision and the following of the applicable rules and standards for day care centers.

With this in mind, a day care may be liable for a bite injury sustained by a child in its care. Though a day care center is not the absolute insurer of a child’s safety, day cares do owe their charges a duty of reasonable care. This means that day care centers should take reasonable precautions to safeguard the children in their care. Because biting is a common behavior in children, day care centers should take reasonable precautions to prevent it. For example, in the situation out of Arkansas, it was reported that caregivers laid down a 10-month-old baby for tummy time when an older child bit him. Reports also indicate that the older child was not supposed to be in that area and was known to bite. While it would probably be unreasonable to expect that the day care provide one to one supervision for every child, it would likely be reasonable to expect that the day care follow procedures about separating age groups, especially with a child with a known history of biting.

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Toys-on-Shelf-297x300When a child is enrolled in a school, day care center, summer camp or other program, it is important that the child be supervised in a safe environment.  While a typical toy does not at first glance appear to be a dangerous object, the wrong toy in the hands or within the reach of a child can lead to serious personal injuries and even the death of the child.

It is important for all child care providers be aware of the risks and dangers of toys.  Furthermore, the child care provider should be on alert and pay attention any time that a child is playing with a toy. Many personal injuries can be avoided with consistent supervision and common sense on the part of child care providers.

Toys Needs to be Age Appropriate.  Small children including those under the age of 5 years old tend to put small pieces or toys into their mouths.  This can present a significant choking hazard to a child.  If a toy has small pieces or is susceptible to being pulled apart into small pieces, there can be a choking hazard to a small child.

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Toy-Blocks-E-A-300x226Parents rely upon day care centers to provide for a safe and supporting educational environment during the work day. A day care center has a duty to provide reasonable and necessary care and supersion to the children. At times, a day care center can do everything right yet a child is injured at the day care center. It should be noted that a day care center is not an absolute insurer for the safety of the children under the care of or enrolled at the day care center. In other words, just because there is an injury or incident – this does not mean that the day care center is liable. One type of Incident which is commonly reported in the news throughout the nation involves a vehicle that crashes into a day care center. If a day care center is located off of a commercial street or even a residential street, a car accident (single or multiple) can result in the vehicle crashing into the day care center. It is difficult to plan for or prevent vehicles from crashing into a day care center. As stated, a day care center must act reasonably. It may be cost prohibitive to erect a wall or concrete barrier around an entire day care center. If multiple incidents of crashes have taken place, then these circumstances may put the burden or duty on the day care center to erect some barriers around the day care center or move children from the risky part of the day care center to another part of the day care center.

Certainly, a driver or owner of a vehicle may be liable for crashing into a day care center if it can be established the the driver was negligent or careless in the operation of the motor vehicle. Automobile insurance can provide compensation to children if the injuries resulted from an automobile accident even though the children were not occupying a motor vehicle. Furthermore, the injured children may also qualify for benefits or coverage under a parent’s automobile insurance policy even though the parent’s motor vehicle was not involved in the automobile accident.

It can be a bit complicated and confusing when a child is injured as a result of the negligence of another person, business, or government entity. As such, a parent of an injured child should seek out advice, guidance, and when appropriate legal representation from an experienced Child Injury Lawyer. It is important to know the laws and procedures as to insurance, compensation, and damages.

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Building-Blocks-300x271Working parents rely upon day care center centers to provide care, supervision, and education of their children.  For most children on most days, the time spent at a day care center is uneventful.  Unfortunately and tragically for some children, the neglect, oversight, abuse, or neglect of a child while under the care of a day care center.

It was reported that a 3 year old boy – Elijah Silvera – had food allergies in the form of daily food allergies.  It was reported that a day care center – Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services located in Harlem (New York) was fed a grilled cheese sandwich.  Thereafter, he had a severe allergic reaction.

There is an investigation as to the care and supervision at the day care center and how day care center and medical professional responded to the incident.   The family reported on a Go Fund Me page that it was well known by the day care center staff that the child had food allergies.  It appears that this child died as a result of his dairy allergy.   The simple but dangerous serving of a grilled cheese sandwich to this child resulted in a tragic consequences.  See Grilled Cheese Sandwich Suspected in Death of 3 Year Old. 

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Day-Care-Centr-Blocks-300x194In Texas and other States, children are the unfortunate and tragic victims of day care center abuse, neglect, and carelessness.  When a child is harmed in the form of personal injuries, there may be a case or claim pursued on behalf of the injured child for compensation or damages.  This is commonly referred to as a personal injury insurance claim or civil case. It should be noted that a civil case is different than a criminal case.  

A criminal case is pursued by local law enforcement and the prosecutor or district attorney.  When there is a crime committed whether it is intentional conduct or grossly reckless conduct, the criminal case focuses on the crime committed rather than the ability to collect compensation or monetary damages from the criminal defendant or day care center operator.  The successful pursuit of the criminal case also does not depend on the existence or amount of liability insurance coverage. 

A civil case is pursued by the family of the injured child through the services of a Child Injury Lawyer.  From a legal standpoint, there are four elements to establish in a civil case:

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Day-Care-Center-School-Transporation-300x207A child may be injured while being transported by a day care center, school, summer camp, after school program, or some other activity.  When a child is injured, there may be a right to compensation to the child for medical bills, pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.  The legal rights of the child will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the crash, the extent and severity of the personal injuries, and type and amount of liability or automobile insurance coverage.  Whether the accident or crash is the fault of the day care center driver, another driver, or both on a comparative fault basis, there may be a right to seek damages on behalf of the injured child.

There was an accident reported in Charlotte, North Carolina involving a day care center van owned and operated by The Neighborhood Learning Center.  It was reported that the van was transporting children from a school to the day care center.  It was reported that several people including children under the age of 6 years old were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.  You can read more about this accident at Children Injured in North Carolina Day Care Center Motor Vehicle Accident. 

When a child is injured in an automobile accident or day care center van accident, it is important for the child to get appropriate medical care from one or more of the following medical providers:  emergency room, pediatrician, neurologist, orthopedist, physical therapist, and /or other medical providers.  The costs of the medical care may be covered by the automobile insurance of the day care center, the parents, the other driver, and / or health insurance.  It depends on who was at fault for the crash and what insurance coverage was in place for the vehicles / drivers involved in the accident.

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By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer
Crib-and-Nap-Time-Day-Care-Center-276x300Parents rely on day care centers to provide a safe educational environment for their children. Tragically, children suffer serious personal injuries and even fatal injuries at the very place where the children are supposed to be protected – the day care center.  At times, other children in the day care center are violent and unstable.  It is important that day care centers closely monitor all children in the day care center. If a child is exhibiting strange, dangerous, or disturbing behavior, it should be addressed right away.  For the protection and safety of the children enrolled in the day care center, a child, with dangerous tendencies or propensities, can and should be removed from the day care center.  The local licensing agency can also step in if there is a problem with the parents of the “problem child”.  It is vital that the day care center act in a timely manner to prevent injuries at all times possible.  Unfortunately, many day care centers ignore the problem or gloss over the problem rather than take action to protect the children in the day care center.
In Michigan, it was reported that a 14 month old toddler died a day care center by an 8 year old girl with a history of odd behavior.  The toddler (Korey Brown) was crying in his crib.  Then, the 8 year old took him out of the crib, bit him in the face, and kicked the toddler.  The 8 year old girl had a number of issues.  It is suspected by the family of Korey Brown that the day care center knew or should have known about the odd behavior and should have taken action to protect Korey Brown.   At the time of the attack, there were no adults present in the room.  As such, it appears that the 8 year old was left unsupervised in a room with younger children in the room including Korey Brown. You can read more about this story at Girl Kills Toddler at Michigan Day Care Center