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Does Virginia Law Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Licensed Day Care Centers?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In the State of Virginia, day care centers are licensed and regulated pursuant to Title 22 – Chapter 185 of the Virginia Administrative Code. Laws pertaining to corporal punishment in day care centers are regulated State by State. In other words, to determine the laws, regulations, and when applicable prohibitions as to corporal punishment, a parent should review the State regulations in place. Pursuant to Title 22 – Chapter 185 of the Virginia Administrative Code, the following actions are prohibited:

*physical punishment of the child;
*striking a child;
*roughly handling a child;
*shaking a child;
*restricting the movement of a child via tying or binding the child;
*forcing the child to assume an uncomfortable position;
*using exercise as a form of punishment;
*enclosing a child in a confined area that a child cannot exit
(exceptions to this rule – cribs, high chairs, safety gates, and play yards)
*punishment inflicted by another child;
*separating a child from the group;
*withhold or the forcing of food or rest;
*using verbal remarks that are demeaning to the child; and
*punishing the child with unpleasant substances (i.e. hot food, hot sauce).

You can read this and other regulations as to Virginia Day Care Centers at Title 22 – Chapter 185 of the Virginia Administrative Code.

If a child is subjected to corporal punishment in Virginia or other States with similar regulations, it is a violation of the applicable laws and could result in an administrative / licensing procedure, criminal prosecution, and / or a civil case against the day care center worker and / or the day care center. As a Child Injury Lawyer, I am often asked to review a case involving the corporal punishment of a child in a day care center. In some cases, the corporal punishment acts are so heinous that a cause of action should be pursued based on the bad acts themselves. In other cases, a Child Injury Lawyer will also focus on the damages caused by the corporal punishment. What injuries were caused by the corporal punishment? Were there any visible signs of injury? Was medical care or treatment required? These and other issues should be addressed when evaluating a case involving the unlawful or improper corporal punishment of a child in a day care center.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, Medical Treatment and Bills, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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