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What Facts and Circumstances Are Reviewed When a Child Dies at a Day Care Center?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Alaska and other States, parents rely on day care centers to provide for a safe haven for children during work hours and other times that parents need assistance with child care. On most days in most facilities, the children are cared for in an environment that is clean and focuses on the best interests of the children. When a facility complies with the applicable local and State day care regulations, there is a better chance that the child will be supervised properly and kept out of harm’s way. However, when a facility skirts the regulations and / or takes short cuts, children can be injured along the way. It is vital that regulations are followed and that staff members consistently and conscientiously watch out for the safety and well being of each and every child enrolled in an Alaskan day care center.

When a child dies at a day care center, there typically is an investigation, autopsy, and other work done to determine the cause of death, the preventability of death, and what actions or inactions (if any) on the part of the day care center that caused or contributed to causing the child’s death. Just because a child happens to die at the physical site or location of a day care center does not by itself make the day care center liable or responsible for compensating the parents of the deceased child. When negligence or carelessness on the part of the day care center caused the child’s death – – – then a civil case or claim can be pursued on behalf of the surviving parents. Each case should be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances. A violation of a local or State day care center regulation may be considered during the investigation but unless the violation had a nexus or connection to the harm done, the violation’s importance or relevance may be limited.

In Wasilla, Alaska, the death of a child was recently reported by the Anchorage Daily News. It was reported that a child died while under the care of Illuminations Child Care and Educational Center. There were prior violations of day care center regulations. Again, it should be pointed out the past violations do not necessarily make this particular day care center liable or legally responsible for the child’s death. Further investigation including the autopsy results should provide information to law enforcement and / or the State of Alaska as to the cause and preventability of the child’s death. You can read more about this story at Report Shows Violations / Lack of Compliance at Wasilla Day Day Care Center.

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, Automobile Accidents, Swimming and Aquatic Park Injuries, Amusement Park Injuries, and other topics. You can receive this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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