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The Power and Importance of Video in Day Care Centers – Caught on Camera Abusing a Child 

Video-Surveillance-in-Child-CareIn day care centers across the nation, there are countless acts of abuse and neglect. Some get swept under the rug and never get reported. Children enrolled in a child care center often is an easy target because of age, the inability to defend himself or herself, and the lack of communication skills to alert parents and other adults of the abuse.  Being a child care provider is not easy task.  It requires a person who is alert, physically able, and patient.  Unfortunately, far too many day care centers are run or staffed with unqualified and downright abusive people.

There are plenty of excellent day care centers that do not have video surveillance. On the “wish list” of things to have in a day care center, it is at times helpful to have video surveillance in place.  There are a number of benefits to having video surveillance in place as follows:

Video surveillance is another “set of eyes” supervising the care provided to the children.

Video surveillance can and does help explain injuries to a child that arise during the day that are not witnessed directly by the caregiver.

Video surveillance can give parents peace of mind especially when parents are giving access to a live feed of the video surveillance.

Video surveillance can indicate that a day care center is transparent and quite open with the care provided. 

This past June there was an incident in Texas involving an elderly woman who was filmed abusing a child at her day care center by a 9-year-old via an iPad. The parents of the child were lucky to have another child capture the incident as there were no recording cameras set up in the in-home day care center. If not for the quick thinking of the 9-year-old, this sustained abuse could have gone on for an extended period of time without any detection or notice to the parents.

It should be noted the video surveillance is also a helpful tool for day care centers in defending itself from allegations of abuse that are not suppoprted by the facts.  At times, a child is injured at a day care center through no fault of the staff or the day care center.  In most states, a day care center is bound by a reasonable duty of care.  In other words, a day care center must take reasonable precauations to prevent foreseeable injuries or incidents.  For instance, let’s say a 4 year old is walking in the classroom. The floor is carpeted and there are no hazards in the room. A video captures the child walking on the carpet and falling down.  At times, toddlers fall because of unsteady gait or other reasons unrelated to any negligence on the part of the child care provider.  Under these facts, a day care center would not be held liable.  It would be helpful for the day care center to have a video showing this particular incident.

When a child is injured at a day care center (with or without a video showing the particular incident), a parent may be able to pursue a legal claim or case on behalf of the injured child.  The four essential elements of a day care negligence case are as follows:

Duty;

Breach of Duty;

Causation; and

Damages.

Attorney David Wolf is a child injury attorney and child safety advocate.  He is the author of 12 books and over 4,000 articles in the field of child injury and child safety including the book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know.  David Wolf offers a Free Consultation to parents on a wide variety of personal injury cases. David Wolf firmly believes in Giving a Voice to Injured Children and Their Parents.