Articles Tagged with day care centers

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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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Pool-Safety-300x280There is a common risk to children in the form of swimming pools.  Without proper supervision and safety devices like pool gates, fences, and alarms, children – especially toddlers – are at risk for drowning. In Australia, a coroner / medical examiner recommended that pools, spas, and other water hazards be banned at family day care centers. This recommendation follows the investigation into the death of a toddler – Lachlan Mitchell. The coroner opined that a swimming pool presented an unacceptable drowning risk to children.  While the coroner’s recommendation is not being adopted by the local child licensing agency, the recommendation aptly points out the significant risks posted by swimming pools in small day care centers as well as any day care center for that matter.  Yes, a swimming pool can be a wonderful activity to small children enrolled in a day care center.  Furthermore, teaching small children including toddlers how to swim can be quite beneficial as an essential life and survival skill for children.

A ban on swimming pools in day care centers can be seen by the day care operators as a drastic move or a somewhat draconian law.  Nevertheless, absent a ban – there will always be some risk by having a swimming pool on premises at a day care center.  Adult supervision is key.  While gates, locks, and alarms all serve a purpose, there is no substitute for the proper, ongoing, and constant supervision of the children enrolled in the day care center.  It is well known that swimming pools are attractive nuisances to children. In other words, children see the pool as a big playground and adventure rather than a danger.  Furthermore, children especially infants and toddlers have poor to no safety awareness when it comes to swimming pools and other waterways.  In addition to adult supervision, gates should be installed and maintained.  In addition, alarms should be put in place to alert day care center staff members when a child is in or near the pool area.  Video surveillance would also be helpful in detecting the presence of children in the pool area and in making sure that the children are properly supervised.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control, there is an average of about 3,500 fatal unintentional drowning deaths per year.  This is the average for the time period between 2005 and 2014.  Children under the age of 14 account for 1 in 5 of these deaths.  Furthermore, for every child who drowns – there are statistically 5 more children who are seen in an emergency room for non-fatal drowning related personal injuries.

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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, 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 Wolf, Attorney

Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Child-Care-SupervisionIn Alabama and a number other States, day care centers can be broadly separated into three groups:  Licensed, Unlicensed by Exemption, and Unlicensed by Violation.  While the licensure of a day care center does not guarantee that a day care center is free from risks, hazards, and negligence, the licensure of a day care center does provide for important oversight by the State.  With oversight, there is usually voluntary compliance with the applicable day care and child care rules, regulations, staffing, training, and safety standards.  Many parents are not qualified to know what the required staff to child ration should be or what training should be completed for child care providers. Furthermore, there is a certain value to having rules and regulations in place to guide a day care center as what needs to be in place to obtain a day care center license and to keep such a license.

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By  David Wolf, Attorney and Samantha Vloedman, Law Clerk

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Building Blocks Glossy - P - Day Care CenterIn New York and other States, a parent finds out the true quality or better stated deficiencies with a day care center only after a child is injured or after a child died at a day care center.  A recent death of an infant made State of New York and National headlines.  The child died at an unlicensed day care center on the first day that he was under the so-called supervision of a day care center.

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By  David Wolf, Attorney and Samantha Vloedman, Law Clerk

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Building Blocks LIn Illinois and other States, parents rely upon day care centers to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their children during the busy work day. For most children on most days, a day care center provides proper supervision to keep the children safe and out of danger. Unfortunately, there are days (far too many days) when a child is injured while under the so called watch of a day care center.

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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Building Blocks Glossy - P - Day Care CenterIt is not difficult to find stories – horror stories better yet – about unlicensed day care centers in Louisiana, Florida, and other states.   When you see a news article posted about an unlicensed day care center, you will often read about a child being injured or put at risk or danger of personal injury while under the care of the unlicensed day care center.   These child care providers are “operating in the shadows”.  Without any oversight, rules, or regulations, many unlicensed facilities do just what is necessary to convince the parents desperate for child care to part with their hard earned money.   While there are some unlicensed facilities and day care centers that happen to do just a fine job, there are so many others that are truly cutting corners and putting the dollar over safety concerns and measures for the children.
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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Kids Block Spelling Dad As Symbol for Fatherhood And Parenting
It has been reported that approximately 8000 children are seen and treated in emergency rooms every day.  That is a truly significant statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  When a child is injured as a result of a fall at a day care center, school, or summer camp, is there a cause of action, claim, or case that can be pursued?  The answer to this question is not so simple.  It really depends on the facts and circumstances.  A child care provider is not liabile every time that a child is injured as a result of a fall or another incident.  There are inherent risks any time that a child engages in physical activity.  For instance, a child could trip running to first base.  This can happen.  A child could fall while playing on the playground.  This also could happen.  However, if a child care provider was negligent and the injury was preventable, that is another story.  Let’s say children are playing on swings and create a game in which the child wins if he or she jumps the furthest from the swing in mid air.   This game goes on for 45 minutes when a boy jumps off the swing high and far and breaks his leg.  This was a dangerous activity for the group of 7 years old.  Appropriate and reasonable supervision would have prevented the game from moving forward and the incident and resulting injuries would have been avoided.  Here are some factors to consider in evaluating a fall incident as a potential case: