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What are the Risks to Napping and Sleeping Children in Day Care Centers? What is Considered Proper Bedding for a Child / Infant at a Day Care Center?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In California and other States, children are at risk for serious injuries and even wrongful death as a result of poor supervision and improper bedding at a day care center. One would think that a child would be the safest when confined in a bed or crib during nap time or sleep time at a day care center. Unfortunately, a supposed place of safety can often times be a trap or danger zone for a child at a day care center. This is especially true when the crib and bedding contain items that can cause or lead to the suffocation or asphixation of the child. Because of these risks, it is vital that day care center operators and workers are trained as to what is proper bedding and items be kept in a crib and more importantly – what should be removed from a crib. The bedding and items in a crib should focus on safety rather than aesthetics. While a cuddly stuffed Teddy Bear may look quite cute in a crib, this very item can and does lead to serious injuries like the suffocation of a child. Keep stuffed animals out of cribs. It is also important that the sheets be properly fitting and that strings or ties be kept out of the crib area.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and child safety advocates take the position that improper and loose fitting bedding can pose a significant risk to babies at day care centers / child care centers. It is also important to have an appropriate sized mattress in the crib. Items like stuffed animals, crib bumpers, and pillows should be kept out of cribs due to the risk of injuries to children.

A recent tragedy was reported at a San Rafael day care center. It was reported by a number of news outlets that a 4 month old child accidentally was suffocated by the bedding at the day care center. The owners and other staff members employed at the Magic Place Children’s Center were even arrested over the incident and charged with involuntary manslaughter. See Three Workers Arrested Following Death of Child at California Day Care Center. The incident will be further investigated by the police and licensing authorities.

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, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, Medical Care and Treatment, and other topics. A parent or concerned person or relative can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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