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What Are the Legal Rights of a Child Hit, Slapped, or Otherwise Subjected to Corporal Punishment at a Day Care Center?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Kentucky and other States, children are enrolled in day care centers so their parents can work jobs and take care of other obligations during the typical day. In most cases, children are watched and supervised in a caring environment by trained child care workers and providers. Unfortunately, some day care providers either have a bad day and take it out on the children or just do not have the training, temperament, or personality to care for young children. When a child is struck, hit, slapped, punched, or otherwise subjected to corporal punishment, there may be a civil claim or case against the day care center or child care provider. In addition to a civil case, there may be a criminal prosecution against the day care provider or worker who struck or hit the child. In some of these incidents, there is even videotape or photographic evidence of the crime / incident taking place.

A recent incident involving the slapping / hitting of a child at a day care center was reported in Louisville, Kentucky. It was reported by WDRB News that a day care worker was seen on a video slapping a child on the hand and then across the face. The child was later taken to Kosair Children’s Hospital for an evaluation. For more information, see Local Day Care Worker Arrested for Hitting a Child at Kentucky Day Care Center.

There are typically four elements to a day care center civil case involving personal injuries caused by negligence and / or corporal punishment:

1. Duty;

2. Breach of Duty;

3. Causation; and

4. Damages.

All four elements need to be proved in order to pursue a case for compensation. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parents Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can receive this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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