By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Day care centers are relied upon to provide care for children so that parents can support the family. While many would prefer to care for their own children during the day and avoid day care centers completely, the economics and practicality of the matter is that many parents have no other viable choice but to utilize day care centers for their children. Tragically, deaths occur at day are centers from incidents that are foreseeable and preventable. An otherwise normal day turns into a nightmare that lasts a lifetime when a child dies as a result of neglect, negligence, carelessness, and even intentional acts. Children especially infants and toddlers are vulnerable for injuries and medical complications that do not typically occur with elementary age and older children. In particular, infants and toddlers are at risk for complications that take place during a common activity that takes place at just about every day care center – big and small – in the United States. This common activity, to the surprise of many people, is sleep time or nap time. Infants lack the muscle strength and especially the neck strength during sleep time to lift themselves off of their stomachs. As such, if an infant is placed on his or her stomach during nap time or simply rolls over on the stomach, this can lead to a very dangerous and even fatal situation. This is especially problematic if the supervision is lacking, if the facility is understaffed, and / or the child care providers lack the education and training to recognize the risks or to act swiftly to protect the child. Matters are further complicated when a child is placed in sleeping or napping environment filled with soft pillows, sheets, stuffed animals, a Bobby pillow, and / or a soft mattress. Any of these items can contribute to a tragic situation in which a child suffers injuries or dies from suffocation, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), asphyxiation, or other similar complications.