Articles Posted in Missouri

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By David Wolf – Child Injury Lawyer
Building-Blocks-300x170In day care centers across the nation, parents rely on child care workers to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment for children.  For most children, the day is filled with activities, classes, and all around excellent care.  However, at some facilities, children are unfortunately the victim of abuse, neglect, and molestation.  Some child care workers just lack the training, experience, common sense, and patience to properly supervise children.  The local and state day care regulations should be followed.  Beyond the rules and regulation, common sense can go a long way in the proper care of infants, toddlers, and young children.
In most States, corporal punishment is outlawed or banned in day care centers.  Some day care workers still implement corporal punishment measures to supervise and / or punish children under their care.  Corporal punishment is typically refers to some form of physical punishment, assault, or restraint of a child.  It should be noted that many religious based day care centers are exempt from local and state day care regulations.  As such, corporal punishment tends to be utilized on a regular basis in some exempt facilities.  It should also be noted that if a child is injured as a result of corporal punishment to the point the marks are left or medical care is required – there can still be action taken against the day care center even if the day care center is exempt from the applicable child care rules and regulations.
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By David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

Duct-Tape-300x202In day care centers in Missouri and across the nation, children are unfortunately subjected to various forms of corporal punishment in day care centers.  Most states have a prohibition according to the day care center government regulations against corporal punishment.  Despite these regulations, some day care center workers, for some reason or no reason at all, subject a child to corporal punishment.

In St. Louis, Missouri, there was a lawsuit filed against the Zion Lutheran Church, its daycare, and its employees, for the alleged abuse of a four-year-old girl. It was reported that the teacher at the daycare wrapped the child’s legs in duct tape after saying “I have some shiny red duct tape with your name on it.” The child admitted to running around when she was supposed to be napping, which is said to be the reason the teacher put duct tape on her legs in the first place. After the tape was put on, another member of the staff told her the tape would be removed when she behaved, which shows it was intended as a means of punishment. When the parents addressed the situation to staff, the situation was laughed over, and comments were made about how hyper their daughter can be.  It was reported that the daycare teacher has been said to have used duct tape as a means of controlling a child with two much energy. As a result, this family’s lawsuit alleges false imprisonment and assault, among other things, and is seeking over $25,000 in damages.  It should be noted that many courts have jurisdictional amounts or thresholds. In other words, an action can be pursued in a particular court if the amount in controversy if over a certain amount of money.  As such, in many cases, it is difficult to determine from the pleadings alone the amount that is ultimately being sought by the plaintiff / family of the injured child.

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Kids Number Block As Symbol For Numeracy Or CountingBy David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Here is a simple but important question:  Should day care centers provide constant care and supervision during sleep time or nap time?  The answer to this question is Absolutely Yes!   That’s right the answer has an exclamation point at the end because it is so important that child care centers and day care centers have trained staff in place that recognize the risk and dangers during nap time and sleep time for infants and toddlers.   Without any child of child care training, one would think that the safest place for a child or a baby is in a crib during sleep time.  The truth is that many children every year suffer personal injuries and even die during sleep or nap time due to inadequate supervision, improper sleep position, and the presence of blankets, stuffed animals and other soft objects left in the crib or sleeping area.

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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Building%20Windows.jpgIn Missouri and other States, there are dangers in virtually every community in the form of old buildings and old building codes. In Springfield, Missouri and other cities, many buildings are not subject to current building codes. Some of the newer codes require stricter regulations as to the construction and security in and around windows. This can be especially dangerous for children living in or visiting multi-story townhouses, homes, apartment complexes, and commercial buildings. With older codes, there are less restrictions as to window barriers and screens. This, in turn, can present a danger to children. It was reported in Springfield, Missouri recently that a 4 year old fell put of a third floor window and tragically died from the fall related personal injuries. See 4 Year Old Child Dies in Springfield, Missouri.

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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

church%20steeple%20baptist%20church.jpgChurches and schools should be safe havens for children to learn and grow. Unfortunately, children are sometimes targeted by teachers, volunteers, and other adults who meet children at the church or school. For the most part, churches and schols are safe havens filled with staff member and volunteers who properly supervise and care for the children. There are some “bad apples” out there who use their position of trust and power to improperly take advantage of the very children under their supervision. Many predators get away with this horrid acts while others get caught before their master plans hatch into a harmful act against the vulnerable child.

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By Joseph R. Hillebrand Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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The State of Missouri is revising the child care laws for the first time in two decades. Two of the main revisions include: 1). A requirement that Missouri Child-Care Centers put babies to sleep on their backs; and 2). A requirement that state Child-Care Centers have a staff member trained in CPR on staff at all times. The “back-to-sleep” rule is expected to be in effect by late summer 2011 and the CPR regulation by January 1. The revisions are to aid in the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and accidental suffocation. According to a study conducted by Rachel Moon, a pediatrician and SIDS researcher with Children’s National Medical Center, 20% of all SIDS deaths occur in child care centers, a rate that should only be 8%. The new revisions will affect approximately 2,200 centers and 1,440 licensed home-based child care centers. However, the new revisions are neither applicable to unlicensed home-based child care businesses within the state (which account for well over 5,000) nor the 670 faith-based child care centers (because they are exempted from state licensing). However, following these rules is an important step in providing better quality care for children. The Missouri Child Fatality Review Program recorded two infant deaths in licensed child care facilities because of SIDS or suffocation. For more details see Missouri revises child care laws to prevent SIDS and accidental suffocation.

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By Joseph R. Hillebrand Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

bathtub%20faucet.jpgIn Kansas City, Missouri and in every community in the United States, there is one common dangerous place in most homes and apartments – the bathtub. Unfortunately and tragically, children continue to be victims of drownings in bathtubs. Just a few moments of inattention or lack of supervision can have deadly consequences. It is vital that a smal child be supervised at all times while in the bathtub – don’t take that phone call and don’t multi-task by cooking and doing other activities while a child is bathing in a bathtub. In addition, never leave water in an unattended bathtub before or after a child’s bath time. In Kansas City, Missouri, police are investigating the death of a toddler – 18 month old Jermane Johnson, Jr. At the time of the incident, Jermane was staying with relatives. It was reported that a 16 year old (mentally handicapped) was babysitting the children on the day of the incident but was sleeping at the time that that the drowning incident took place. It is suspected by police officials that another child (5 years old) may have drowned the toddler because the toddler was crying too much. Due to the age of the 5 year old and the circumstance involved in the incident, it is uncertain how the case will be handled. Since the 5 year old is so young, it would be difficult to prove that she understood the magnitude and seriousness of her actions. See Toddler Drowns in Kansas City Missouri Bathtub – Police Suspect that 5 Year Old Drowned Toddler for Crying Too Much.

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By Joseph R. Hillebrand Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

educations%20school%20day%20care%20school%20bus%20close%20up%20view%20of%20top%20of%20yellow%20school%20bus.jpgOutside of St. Louis Missouri, a horrible bus accident was reported that involved two school buses, a semi truck, and a SUV. Tragically, two people died as a result of this bus / semi tractor / SUV accident and many others including a number of children were injured as a result of this accident. A full investigation will be conducted by State and Local authorities to determine the cause of the accident and what measures could have been taken to avoid the accident and related personal injuries.

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By Joseph R. Hillebrand Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In St. Louis, Missouri, a child was left a day care center van at the zoo. According to reports from the St. Louis Police Department, a 3 year old was left on a day care center van. The van was operated by the Heaven 24 / 7 Learning Center that was on a field trip on June 9th to the St. Louis Zoo. A visitor to the zoo heard a child yell for help from the van. The concerned patron was able to locate the day care group a few minutes later. The day care child care workers later admitted to failing to conduct a head count and failing to realize that a child was left behind. This kind of negligence could have caused serious personal injuries and even death to a child in a hot vehicle over summer months. You can read more about this story at Child Left in Day Care Van at the St. Louis Missouri Zoo.

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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Map%20of%20United%20States%20black%20and%20white%20showing%20all%20States.jpgThe United States Department of Health and Human Resources has a website that has a great reference tool for parents and caregivers with children in day care centers and child care centers. Each state regulates day care centers / child care centers through a state specific administrative code and / or policy manual. Go to State Administrative Rules and Policy Manuals for Child Care. Another good resource is located at the website for the National Resource Center for