Fayetteville, AR Daycare Injury Lawyer
Sending your child to daycare is a major life event in many parents lives, however, it is also a necessary event for many parents. However, what happens when you send your child to daycare and they are injured, or end up on a trip to the hospital? Not only will you be worried about your child’s health and well-being but you also may have concerns about your finances.
If your child was injured while at a daycare facility, and you think that there is someone else to blame, then you should contact one of our attorneys. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law knows that there is nothing more important or valuable to you than your child’s safety.
5 Signs of Daycare Negligence
When discussing daycare negligence, it is important to mention that physical abuse is not the only way that a daycare may endanger your child. Many children return home from dishonest daycare companies physically unharmed. However, this does not mean that the daycare is not committing actions that may affect the child in other ways. The following is a list of signs to be on the lookout for when enrolling your child in a daycare program.
Inadequate Number of Employees
When choosing a daycare program, the first action you should take is ensuring the business is adequately staffed. Arkansas law used to require that daycares employ one adult for every six infants. Upon realizing this ratio may not allow each care provider to offer equal time with each child, the Arkansas legislature changed the ratio to one adult for every five infants.
If a daycare does not appear to have the correct number of employees, you should avoid placing your child in their care. An inadequate number of adult care providers may indicate that the daycare is not properly licensed or that they are in violation of Arkansas laws.
Hazardous Objects within Reach of Children
Children are naturally curious and often want to investigate every detail in a room. This can result in a child picking up an object like a paper clip or stapler that they could ingest or use to hurt other children. Cleaning supplies are another hazard that should be kept away from children. Many of these products can have scents that can trick a child into believing the object is edible.
If you notice that a daycare is cluttered with items that a child could ingest or use in a harmful manner, do not place your child in that program.
Your Child is Often Hungry
If your child returns from daycare with complaints of being hungry or thirsty, this may be a sign that your child is not receiving adequate care. Some daycare workers may accidentally or intentionally fail to feed a child or offer them water throughout the day. It does not matter whether this action was malicious or accidental, as a child care provider they should know the dangers of children being malnourished.
If your child appears to lose weight or appears dehydrated without a valid reason, this may be a sign that they were mistreated.
It is normal for children to bump into objects or bruise themselves when playing. However, if your child is leaving daycare with bruises that cannot be easily explained, you should be concerned about physical abuse. This can occur at the hands of a care provider or possibly another child if an adult does not intervene when they should.
Change in Behavior
If your child was outgoing and talkative before they attended daycare but seem more withdrawn after attending daycare, this might be a sign of emotional abuse. It is important to pay close attention to how daycare workers interact with your children to ensure they are not hurting your child.
There are many other signs to look out for when choosing the perfect daycare for your child. Learning to spot these signs can help you avoid being deceived by a negligent daycare operation.
Common Causes of Daycare Accidents and Injuries
Children and toddlers are known for being energetic and getting into everything. We expect daycare workers, teachers, and staff to not only keep an eye on our children but also to provide a safe environment for our children. In Arkansas, the Department of Human Services is tasked with the oversight of daycare centers, and despite expansive regulations and safety protocols, accidents in daycare facilities happen. However, daycare centers can be filled with hazards that can lead to accidents including:
- Unsupervised children
- Unsafe playground equipment
- Loose handrails
- Wet floors
- Falling objects
- Chemicals accessible to children
- Medications not stored properly
- Unsafe sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots
- Uneven, crumbling, or dangerous walkways, hallways, and doorways
- Unsafe and defective toys
- Children left unsupervised
- Access to swimming pools
Parents and guardians trust daycares to keep their children safe from harm. However, it is a sad reality that it only takes a second for a worker to turn their back and your child to be injured.
Who is Responsible for Your Child’s Injuries at a Daycare?
When you drop your child of at a daycare facility you expect that the workers and caregivers will keep your child safe and out of harms way. However, all too often a worker who is not paying attention can miss a child in a dangerous position. Daycare facilities are highly regulated by the Department of Human Services and provide comprehensive regulation’s and requirements for daycare centers. If a daycare center breaches one of these regulations, then this may be a basis for imposing liability. However, a parent will need to demonstrate that not only was there a violation, but that there was some negligence which resulted in their child’s injury.
Negligence is often the basis of a daycare injury claim, and is the root of many other personal injury claims. Negligence claims are based on four elements, each of which must be proved to establish liability on the part of a daycare facility.
- A day care center has a duty to not only follow all of the applicable regulations, but daycare centers and nursery’s also have a duty to provide all the reasonable and necessary care for a child.
- Breach of Duty – A breach of the duty of care refers to the failure of a nursery center or worker to act in a reasonable manner. One means, but not the only means of proving a breach of duty is to demonstrate that the nursery center has breached one of one of the safety regulations prescribed in by the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
- Causation – The causation element of a personal injury claim is often one of the most difficult elements to prove. To meet this element of a nursery center injury claim you will need to demonstrate that the daycare center’s breach of duty was the actual and proximate cause of the child’s injuries.
- Damages – This element generally refers to the injuries or damages suffered by the child such as a broken bone and the resulting medical bills.
When you entrust your child to the care of a nursery center they can be held liable for any injury that the child suffers while they are while under their care. Professional caregivers are required to exercise the highest degree of care when they are charged with protecting a child. This duty of care includes taking all appropriate precautions that may be necessary to prevent dangerous conditions from being on the premises. When a daycare center fails to follow their duty of care to your child, and the child is subsequently injured as a result, then the daycare center of the nursery can be held responsible for any injury.
However, as any parent will tell you that children don’t always play a gently as they should. There is an important distinction between a child who is injured by another child as a result of normal children’s’ play and a child who is injured because the daycare or nursery was negligent. In most situations, when a child at a daycare center is injured by another child, it is the result of normal childhood play. Courts typically recognize that when children interact normally, physical injury is a possibility. However, if there is a child who is particularly aggressive and is known for causing injuries to other children, and the daycare center does not take any action to remedy that danger, then liability may be a possibility.
Contact Fayetteville Daycare Injury Lawyer Ken Kieklak
If your child was injured while at a daycare or nursery center because of another’s negligence, you may have a case to recover for your child’s injuries and expenses. To speak with an experienced Fayetteville, Arkansas personal injury attorney, call Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.