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In Day Care Centers, What Supervision Should Be Provided to Infants?


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.

Unfortunately, as seen in Wisconsin, not all day care centers take these precautions, which leads to injuries and even death of the children in their care. Because daycares owe the children under their supervision a duty of care, infants and children injured in these tragic situations may be able to bring a cause of action against the childcare center for the injuries they sustained. When a daycare facility negligently or recklessly fails to follow state-mandated safety procedures that results in injury to a child, it breaches the duty of care owed to its charges. This means that the child may be entitled to a damages award to financially compensate him or her for the injuries incurred. Nonetheless, every state imposes different requirements on daycare centers, and every case is different, so parents of an infant or child injured in a day care should consult an experienced Child Injury Attorney for legal advice pertinent to the facts of their specific situation.

David Wolf is an experienced child injury attorney who has authored 12 books and over 4,000 articles that focus on child injury and child safety matters.  David Wolf firmly believes in Giving a Voice to Injured Children and Their Families.  David Wolf is available for a Free Consultation at 1-888-96C-HILD or 1-888-962-4453.   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, Playground Injuries, Automobile Accidents, and other topics.  You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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