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What if a Child is Injured by Corporal Punishment in a Day Care Center?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Day care centers should be safe havens for children. They should be a place for a child to grow learn and feel secure in a safe educational environment. Unfortunately, some day care providers and workers lack common sense, patience, training, and education to properly care for children. When a day care worker lacks the necessary patience and as common sense, children are at times subjected to ask of corporal punishment, verbal attacks, physical injuries, and other perils.

Most states prohibit the implementation of corporal punishment in the day care centers for good reason. Corporal punishment acts that have taken place across the nation include the following:

Paddling with a wooden object;

Striking with a belt or other type of whipping object;

Forcing children to fight among themselves;

Forcing a child to consume hot sauce or other unpleasant items;

Burning a child with cigarettes, water, or other hot objects;

Locking a child in a closet or other secure area,

Binding a child with duct tape rope or other items;

Verbally abusing a child by the use of names and threats; and

Verbally and physically abusing a child simultaneously.

These and other acts of corporal punishment can and do lead to serious physical and/or emotional harm to a child. If a day care center owner or administrator learns of these types of acts by the employees, the owner / administrator should report the incieents to the applicable social service agency in charge of licensing and regulating the day care center.

When a child is subjected to corporal punishment and similar harmful acts, a parent should seek advice, guidance, and legal representation when necessary by a Child Injury Lawyer. The Child Injury Lawyer can help the parent sort through the facts and circumstances and then advise the parents of the legal options and potential actions that can be brought or pursued on behalf of the injured child. Each case first be evaluated on its own facts and circumsances. Evidence or proof of the acts of corporal punishment can incude the following:

Statements of the injured child;

Statements of witnesses (employees and non-employees) to the incident;

Statements of the day care center owner and administrator;

Incident Report from the day care center;

Photographs of the injured child;

Photographs of the instruments used to implement the corporal punishment;

Videotape surveillance from the day care center; and

Medical Records.

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, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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