Articles Tagged with negligence

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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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In New York and other states, people wisely hire limousine and bus companies for parties, events, and celebrations. Rather than drink and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle, the safer way to travel is to have a professional, trained driver handle the transportation. However, at times, commercial drivers fail to pay attention to road conditions, traffic, traffic signals, and /or signage and end up being responsible and liable for a crash that injures and, in some instances, kills passengers. It is important for all drivers to remain alert, keep distractions to a minimum, and concentrate on the legal duties and responsibilities of operating a motor vehicle, van, bus, limousine, or other vehicle transporting passengers.

Nonetheless, even professional drivers get into accidents.

The recent tragedy in Schoharie, New York exemplifies this. It was reported that twenty people died when a limousine driver ran a stop sign and crashed into a parked car. All eighteen people in the limousine died, including the driver, as well as two pedestrians. This crash, dubbed the deadliest transportation accident in almost a decade, demonstrates just one of the many accidents involving commercial drivers in the past year.

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Bounce houses are commonly seen in neighborhoods, amusement parks, fairs, parties, and other events. On most occasions, a bounce house is a great way for a child to play, get some exercise, and interact with friends. Unfortunately, bounce houses and similar recreational structures can be the site of a very serious injury and even the death of a child if safety precautions are not followed, including but not limited to, the anchoring of the bounce house. Furthermore, adult supervision is always key to protecting children from injuries. Kids will be kids. They lack good safety judgment and when there is no adult around – accidents and injuries can and do happen.

A recent accident in Nebraska exemplifies the instantaneous moment where fun on a bounce pad can turn injurious and deadly. A two-year-old boy died and his five-year old sister sustained a broken arm when a strong breeze uprooted the anchoring stakes of the moon bounce they were playing in at a Halloween pumpkin patch. The little girl was thrown from the bounce pad as it blew over, which saved her from serious injury. Unfortunately, the little boy tumbled with the bounce house as it blew over, which caused fatal head injuries. This tragedy in Nebraska demonstrates only one of the multitudes of ways in which a bounce house can cause injuries.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, other common injuries from trampolines and moon bounces are head trauma, neck injuries, and broken legs. Suffocation by the plastic of a bounce house poses additional risks, such as lung or brain damage from a lack of oxygen. Furthermore, the children’s hospital also indicates that over 10,000 children a year sustain injuries in moon bounces and that over a third of those injuries occur in children younger than five years old. See Bounce House Related Personal Injuries to Children.

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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, Child Injury Lawyer

Teddy-Bear-300x289In Arkansas and other States, children enrolled in day care centers and other summer programs are at risks for injury and death during transportation and services.  There is a simple way to prevent these hot car deaths and hot van deaths from taking place.  In fact, these injuries and deaths can be avoided with a watch eye, clipboard, attendance list, and a pen.  It is vital that all day center providers and summer camps take roll call whenever the van, bus, or vehicle is loaded or unloaded.  All children must be accounted for at all times.  Furthermore, whenever a bus, van, or other mode of transportation is stopped without supervision onboard and without proper ventilation and air conditioning, there should be a physical and verbal sweep of the bus, van, or vehicle to make sure that all children are off the bus.  What happens when a child is left on a bus, van, or other vehicle during periods of warm or hot weather?  Well, the headlines speak for themselves when there is a report of yet another hot van or hot bus death involving a school, summer camp or day care center.

In West Memphis, Arkansas, it was reported that 5 year boy (Christopher Gardner Junior) died as a result of being left in a day care center van. It was reported that the temperature in the van once the vehicle was turned off reached 141 degrees Fahrenheit.  Tragically, Christopher was left on the van for 8 hours when he was finally located in the afternoon.  Certainly, this was a tragic event and day for Christopher’s family, extended family, friends, neighbors, and the community.  It was also reported that Christopher was signed into the facility in the morning.  It would appear that this was done without truly accounting for Christopher’s whereabouts.  Again, a watchful eye, attentiveness, and the dedicated use of a roll call list whether with pen and paper or an iPad or other electronic device would have avoid the tragic consequences as reported in West Memphis.

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by David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer

Day-Care-Supervision-194x300In the State of Colorado and other states, it is important for day care center providers and child care providers to send David Wolf cases

When a child has suffered personal injuries at a day care center or another facility, parents should contact a Child Injury Lawyer for advice, guidance, and legal representation.

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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 A. Wolf, Attorney

Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Baby-Elements-Blue-Icons-copy-300x282In Virginia and other states, many parents rely upon day care centers to watch over their children during the work day.  Many such day care centers are connected to or affiliated with a church or religious institution. Unfortunately in many states, there are limited to no government oversight of religious or church run day care centers because there are loopholes and exemptions in state law that opt a church run or religious day care center out of the applicable day care center regulations.  As such, many day care centers go unregulated and often engage in negligent or dangerous behavior due to the lack of training and government oversight of the facility.  As such, many church run or religious based day care centers may seem safe and well run on the outside are actually riddled with dangers and risks on the inside.
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By David A. Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Child Care Toys - SupervisionIn California and other States, children are supervised or placed in a child care setting at a gym, fitness facility, and other “non-traditional” location. In California, licensing is not required for many of these so called child care programs.  As such, there is limited to no oversight of the child care program, facilities, and training.  This, in turn, may put a child at risk for personal injuries while being supervised, placed, or merely just physically present in the “child care” part of the gym, fitness facility, and other “non-traditional” location.  Even without the imposition of the state mandated and controlled day care center regulations, gyms, fitness facilities, and other locations still have duties of reasonable care when such locations take on the responsibility for watching or supervision children.

A Bay Club fitness facility in San Francisco, California, currently awaits trial for this very issue. Two years ago, a young boy suffered a head injury when his mother dropped him off at a childcare center in this health club. The childcare worker at the facility did not see the injury occur, but the children who witnessed it said, “Roman ran into the window and fell down.” As a result of the injury, the young boy is now undergoing speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder therapy. See Exclusive: Bay Club in San Francisco  Faces Trial After Child Injured.