Cincinnati, Ohio Child safety attorney Investigating injuries related to daycare negligence
Almost 11 million children attend child care programs across America. Placing a child in the care of a daycare facility can be difficult for any parent. Though the majority of daycare centers are safe and caring businesses, some can be poorly managed, understaffed, disorganized, and abusive, and children may suffer as a result.
Daycare centers are regulated by law and each facility must obtain proper licensing if there are more than three children being cared for a the same time. The expectation—particularly when parents are paying for exceptional care—is that your child will be safe from harm each and every day.
When accidents do occur, due to daycare negligence, lack of supervision, and mismanaged facilities, the responsible parties can be held liable, and with lawsuits, families may recover damages and make certain future injuries are prevented in the future.
Daycare centers are treated like schools in regard to laws and guidelines they must adhere to in order to ensure the safety of children. Daycares have a duty to remain clean, safe, and up-to-date on first-aid and basic childcare.
Daycare companies should be careful in hiring practices, in day-to-day supervision, and should they fail to follow laws and preventative safety measures, allowing accidents to occur, a premises liability claim may be filed against them.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio premises liability and personal injury attorney investigating claims of daycare negligence and workplace violations.
Types of Daycare Negligence
Most daycare center accidents are not intentional, but in some situations the daycare providers may be held accountable for not providing a safe environment.
In other cases, daycare staff may commit obvious offenses that lead directly to injury. Common types of negligence that may occur at daycare centers include:
- Lack of supervision. Understaffing may be the primary reason many child are injured during the course of the day at daycare. Some facilities choose to cut costs, and child safety suffers.
- Untrained staff–placing just any worker in a daycare is unacceptable, and a daycare company may be held liable for hiring underqualified staff and failing to properly train them.
- Dangerous playground equipment. Aging playground equipment may be rusty or have sharp edges, that pose risks to children. Any unstable playground equipment should be removed from the center.
- Failure to keep a clean and sanitary environment. Hygiene is critical to keeping children safe, and staff healthy. When daycare centers are not cleaned regularly, children may develop illnesses.
- Presence of lead-based paint. Lead poisoning is still a major concern, especially in older buildings.
- Presence of recalled toys. The CPSC publishes lists of recalled toys each year, and daycare staff should be aware of potential toy recalls.
- Unprotected sharp corners. Child proofing the center is basic protocol, and every precaution must be taken.
- Keeping dangerous dogs and other animals around children. Dog bites can be severe and cause permanent scarring and injury.
- Ingestion of allergens or toxic substances. Allergies can lead to emergency room visits or deaths in serious cases.
- Uncovered electrical outlets or other dangerous items in plain view
- Lack of safe boundaries or safety gates
- Sexual abuse or inappropriate contact
- Physical and verbal abuse.
- Medicinal abuse—children given drugs without parent’s consent
- Deliberate failure to accommodate special dietary requirement
- Failure to warn children of potential facility dangers. A lack of signs or warnings can be a hazard.
- Any injury occurring because of a lack of attention.
The Signs of Daycare Negligence & Abuse
It is terrifying for parents to think about their child in danger at a daycare facility, particularly because in most cases of daycare negligence, children are unable to identify or verbalize any possible safety issues. There are basic signs of emotional and physical distress, however, which may include:
- Bruises or cuts
- Child appears unclean or has a foul odor
- Unexplained injuries
- Child is hungrier than they should be after pickup
- Emotional outbursts and anxiety when discussing or entering the daycare center
- Bedwetting increases due to stress
- Changes in child’s behavior or mood
- Problems sleeping
If you suspect a child is being neglected or abused by a daycare provider, contact a doctor, the police or child protective services, and an experienced attorney. These authorities can help investigate an injury claim.
How to Choose a Proper Daycare Facility
Daycare negligence often goes unnoticed until abuse has already occurred. This makes it essential to vet a daycare facility before entrusting them with your child. When choosing a daycare center, a parent should make sure certain criteria is met. For example, a daycare facility should provide:
- Proper staff to child ratio
- Staff trained in CPR and other first aid procedure
- Access to first aid materials
- Proper licensing
- Adequate and healthy food schedule
- Sanitary bathroom facilities
- Strict boundaries and safety measures to prevent child wandering
- Carbon monoxide detectors, smoke and fire alarms present
- Safe toys and playground equipment
- Proper fencing and door locks
- No questionable pets or animals present
- Adequate childproofing on cabinets and doors
Window Blind Hazards
For many years, child safety experts have warned parents and daycare officials of the deadly risk of window blind cords. Infants and toddlers have a tendency to wrap themselves up in window blinds and risk strangling themselves or choking on the cords.
Daycare staff should be trained in child safety and recognize all dangerous child products in the home or center. Any accident may be preventable if the product has a history of injuring children.
Common Daycare Negligence Related Injuries
Daycare centers have a responsibility to care for each individual, no matter how busy the staff may be. Some common sources of daycare injury may include:
- Trampoline Accidents
- Food poisoning
- Lead poisoning
- Toxic exposure
- Electrical or contact burns
- Choking & Strangulation
- Allergic Reactions
- Fall injuries
- Dog Bite Injuries
- Window Blind Accidents
If your child has suffered an injury due to daycare negligence and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.