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What is the Duty of Supervision / Maintenance When There are Stairs at a Day Care Center?

By David Wolf, Attorney Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


At some day care centers in Canada and the United States, there is a common danger present that can cause personal injuries to children enrolled in the day care center. Stairs can be quite dangerous for day care center children. This is especially true for children who are unsteady on their feet. In addition, even with children with good walking skills, stairs can be dangerous if there is an item left on the stairs. In addition, stairs can present a problem children are playing or pushing each other on or near the stairs.

When stairs are present at day care centers, gates should be used when possible to keep children from playing on or using the stairs when an adult is not present on or near the staircase or stair way. Furthermore, it is vital that appropriate supervision is in place when children use stairs at a day care center.

In Edmonton, Canada, a day care center operator was recently filed and put on probation for leaving children unattended in a day care center that had a stair case. It was reported that the day care center operator would routinely leave the children alone when she was doing other things in the day care center. She would simply instruct the children to stay off of the stairs. Despite her instructions, a 13 month old child used the stairway when she was not present and fell. The child suffered a head injury. The child’s mother later picked up the child but was not told about the fall. The mother then took the child to the hospital where the child was diagnosed with a skull fracture. You can read more about this incident at Day Care Center Operator Fined for Supervision Issues – Child Fell on Stairs and Suffered Skull Fracture.

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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