Most working parents require some form of childcare for their young children before they reach school age and after school care as well. We entrust our most precious loved ones to these childcare facilities and providers with the expectation that they will take special care of them and adhere to any and all state and federal guidelines for daycare safety. The state of Texas requires all licensed daycare facilities and providers to meet minimum standards for safety, supervision, sanitation, nutrition, and staffing, all overseen by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Stricter standards apply to those supervising infants. If a daycare fails to maintain a safe environment for your child and your child is injured, the facility can be sued for negligence.
Causes of Child Injury at a Daycare Facility
A variety of forms of negligence and even recklessness can cause your child to be injured at daycare. Some of the more common causes of children being injured at daycare include:
- Inadequate supervision: Lack of appropriate supervision can lead to children falling, ingesting toxic substances, being injured by toys, falling off of a changing table while their diaper is being changed, and getting hurt while swimming or on the playground, among other issues. Each accredited childcare facility is required to follow all legally applicable safety standards and is liable for the bad actions or failure to act of its employees and other workers.
- Abuse and neglect: Sadly, child abuse and child neglect are far too common in daycare and childcare facilities. Daycare centers must protect minor child attendees from dangerous individuals by properly screening employees and conducting appropriate background checks. If they do not and a predator harms your child, the facility can be held liable.
- Failing to attend to dietary needs: Daycare providers must stay vigilant about children’s severe food allergies and other dietary restrictions. If they do not and your child suffers an allergic reaction or other harm, you can likely file a lawsuit to recover financial compensation.
- Safety code violations: If your child was injured in a street crossing, on a playground, on a transportation bus, in gym or physical education, or any other area regulated by safety code provisions, you may be able to establish their negligence caused your child’s injuries.
Steps to Take After a Child Is Injured at Daycare
- Get your child medical attention immediately: Regardless of whether the injuries seem severe or even apparent, getting your child thoroughly checked out immediately by a qualified medical professional is crucial to ensuring they are safe and stable, and that you document a course of treatment for a subsequent injury claim.
- Collect evidence: You may have to sign an incident report. If so, you are entitled to a copy. Keep this document and copies of anything else the facility has you sign or fill out. You should also ask for any and all available videos or surveillance footage of the incident, keep notes or record personnel’s responses to all of your questions and definitely maintain medical records and medical bills associated with the injury treatment for your child. Photograph and/or video your child so you can show the injuries and also the impact the incident had on your child. Ideally, you would also take photos and/or videos of the accident scene as soon as possible.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: When your most important loved one’s future is at stake, don’t try to resolve any resulting damages claims on your own. Consultations with personal injury lawyers are free and confidential, and our team can guide you toward making the best decision for your child and your family.
Common Daycare Injuries
With increased staff shortages due to an overall decline in the American workforce during the pandemic, childcare facilities are forced to hire less experienced and often inferior workers. As such, children are at an increased risk of being injured at daycare. Some of the most common daycare injuries we see include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Toys causing choking hazards
- Other children biting, hitting, kicking, or otherwise injuring your child
- Foodborne illness
Houston Daycare Injury Lawyers
If your child was seriously injured while at daycare, you might be able to sue them civilly if an attorney can prove the facility or a caregiver at the facility failed to provide the appropriate care. You will need an experienced personal injury attorney who is able to work with you to complete an investigation that reveals exactly how and why your child was injured to determine whether the childcare establishment can be held accountable.
Those who are charged with protecting our children should not be allowed to act negligently, carelessly, or recklessly, so please fight back and hold them accountable if they injure your child. This will also prevent them from being able to hurt more children. Our firm’s owners are both parents of young children who care greatly about the safety and wellbeing of minor children in the Houston community, Cypress community, and beyond, so contact us today for more information on how we can help your family deal with this challenging and hurtful situation.