Placing children in daycare is difficult for most parents – saying goodbye to your little one in the morning is no doubt often the hardest part of your day. However, you do so trusting that your child will be well cared for, and that the daycare has taken appropriate safety precautions.
Unfortunately, daycare injuries can and do happen. Sometimes these accidents can cause debilitating injuries, which is traumatic for the whole family. Read on to find out what you can do to help prevent daycare injuries, and also how to take action if your child has been injured.
For older children, playground injuries are by far the most common daycare and preschool injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) over 200,000 children under the age of 14 are admitted to emergency rooms annually for injuries that were sustained while using a playground.
Playground injuries vary in severity from cuts and bruises to major injuries such as brain injury and strangulation. In most cases, the injuries are sustained while children are in school or daycare, meaning that outdoor play time is a major risk.
If your child is old enough to play on the playground, speak to the daycare center regarding the maintenance of the playground, and its compliance with safety regulations. Be sure to also ask about how children are supervised during play – even the safest playground is dangerous if children are not properly supervised at all times while at play.
Loose and Falling Objects
As a parent, you are well aware of your child’s nearly obsessive interest with loose items on tables, shelves, chairs, and desks. Any loose items are bound to be picked up by small hands, which can result in injury when the items are dropped and/or fall on top of children. Further, top-heavy furniture can also fall on children, resulting in catastrophic injury.
When choosing a daycare, tour the facility and keep a close eye out for these potential hazards. If the daycare has tall book or toy shelves, they should be securely anchored to the wall, and heavy objects should not be kept on upper shelves.
Bottle Warmer Burns
If you have an infant, the daycare may use bottle warmers or crock pots to heat up the breast milk or formula prior to feeding, which makes it more palatable and easier on the stomach for infants. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to over-warm formula, meaning that scalds are the leading cause of burn injury for children under four. Children may also reach for the bottles and pull on cords to knock warmers over, resulting in severe burn injuries.
Check to see if your child’s daycare uses bottle warmers. If so, it’s safest to use purpose-made bottle warmers rather than slow cookers that have been filled with water to heat several bottles at once.
If your Child Has Been Injured in a Florida Daycare
If your child has sustained an injury while at daycare, this has likely been traumatic for your entire family. Moreover, you may be left with financial concerns stemming from high medical bills and lost wages if you’ve had to miss work in order to care for your injured child.
If the injury could have been prevented, it is essential to hold the daycare responsible for its negligent actions. Doing so will bring some sense of closure for your family, and will also make the daycare more likely to address the source of your child’s injury, protecting other children from incurring the same injury in the future.
Consult with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to learn more about your rights, and how you can receive fair and just compensation to cover the costs of your child’s injury.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.