Common Examples of Negligence in Child Care

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Written by: Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers Last Updated : May 14, 2024

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Entrusting the care of your child to a daycare center or babysitter requires an enormous amount of faith. As a parent, you expect your child to receive attentive supervision, proper nutrition, stimulating activities, and compassionate nurturing. Discovering your trust has been violated by negligence is devastating.

You may have legal recourse if your child suffered harm in a childcare setting due to a lack of reasonable care. Consulting with an experienced negligence attorney should be your first step in fighting against some of the most common examples of negligence in child care. The dedicated legal team at Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers is here to listen to your story with empathy and advise you on your rights.

What Is Considered Negligence in Child Care?

Daycare negligence occurs when a childcare facility or provider fails to exercise the degree of care a prudent person would use in similar circumstances, harming a child. All daycares and babysitters have a legal duty to safeguard the children in their care. They can be held liable when they breach this duty through careless actions or inaction. What are some common examples of negligence in child care?

Inadequate Supervision

One of the most common examples of negligence in child care is inadequate supervision. Busy daycare centers with high child-to-caregiver ratios often struggle to monitor all the children closely at all times. Understaffing and unqualified workers significantly increase the risk of kids getting injured, lost, or abducted.

Leaving children unsupervised near swimming pools, roads, or dangerous child care toys and equipment frequently leads to tragic consequences. Distracted caregivers may also fail to notice kids harming each other or stop bullying and fighting before serious physical or emotional damage occurs.

Unsafe/Unsanitary Conditions

Daycare facilities must maintain a safe, healthy environment for children. Negligent childcare centers often have hazards like unsecured heavy furniture that can topple exposed outlets, accessible cleaning products or medications, and broken playground equipment. Failure to properly sanitize toys, bathrooms, diaper changing stations, and meal prep areas can cause severe illness outbreaks.

Improper Sleep Arrangements

Putting babies to sleep unsafely is another frequent example of daycare negligence. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has known risk factors, including placing infants on their stomachs, using soft bedding, and overheating. Many states have laws regulating sleep arrangements in licensed childcare facilities. Daycares ignoring these safe sleep guidelines put babies’ lives in jeopardy.

Lack of Emergency Preparedness

Negligent childcare providers often need more appropriate emergency plans and supplies. They may need more adequate fire safety equipment, no severe weather or lockdown protocols, unstocked first aid kits, or staff untrained in CPR. These deficiencies can be devastating if disaster strikes and kids do not receive prompt medical care or rescue.

Hiring Dangerous Employees

Irresponsible daycare centers may hire unqualified workers without conducting thorough background checks. Bringing employees with histories of violence, child abuse, or sexual misconduct into close contact with vulnerable kids is the height of negligence. Failure to properly train and supervise daycare staff also creates significant safety hazards.

Neglecting Children’s Basic Needs

Another common sign of negligence in childcare is failing to meet children’s fundamental needs. Kids may go hungry, remain in soiled diapers, lack clean drinking water, or endure uncomfortable temperatures for extended periods. Withholding necessary medications, toileting assistance, or other specialized care from children with disabilities or medical conditions is also negligence.

Ignoring Signs of Illness/Injury

A daycare failing to notice or address obvious symptoms that a child is sick or injured also constitutes negligence. Inattentive caregivers may miss the signs of a concussion after a fall, dehydration, allergic reaction, or infectious disease. A child’s injury may worsen if left ignored. Untreated medical issues can rapidly escalate, possibly leading to permanent impairments or death.

What Are Some Signs Your Child is Being Mistreated at Daycare?

In addition to negligence, some daycare providers cross the line into intentional physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Being alert to the signs of daycare abuse can help you intervene before serious harm occurs. Potential red flags include:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, or other head injuries
  • Sudden fearfulness or clinginess
  • Frequent crying or nightmares
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Regression in potty training or other skills
  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behavior
  • Reluctance to go to daycare

Trust your parental intuition. If something seems “off” with a childcare situation, do not hesitate to remove your child. Thoroughly document any injuries or behavioral changes that may be concerning. Consult with a knowledgeable attorney and contact the proper authorities to report suspected abuse or neglect.

Pursuing a Daycare Negligence Lawsuit

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Can you sue a daycare for negligence? In most cases, yes. A successful daycare negligence lawsuit requires proving four key elements:

  • The daycare owed your child a duty of care
  • The daycare breached this duty
  • Your child was harmed as a result
  • You incurred damages

Meeting this burden of proof often requires extensive evidence, including incident reports, photos/videos, witness statements, and medical bills and records. An experienced childcare negligence attorney can help you compile the necessary documentation to build a strong case when suing a daycare for negligence.

Many wonder, “How much money can you get to sue a daycare for negligence?” The value of a daycare injury claim depends on factors like:

  • The nature, severity, and permanence of the injuries
  • Medical expenses incurred
  • Your child’s pain and suffering
  • Costs of ongoing care or accommodations
  • Your family’s emotional distress
  • Whether the daycare acted recklessly or intentionally

What are your legal options? Some childcare negligence cases are settled privately with the daycare’s insurance company. Others go to trial, which results in substantial jury awards. A skilled lawyer will fight for the maximum compensation your family deserves.

Speak to a Child Care Negligence Lawyer Today

Choosing to put your child in daycare does not mean accepting substandard supervision or unsafe conditions. Your child has the right to receive care in a nurturing environment, free from preventable accidents and injuries. You need a passionate advocate when a negligent childcare provider violates this sacred trust.

If you suspect your child is the victim of daycare negligence, do not wait to take action. In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a childcare injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of harm. However, critical evidence to support your case can disappear much sooner. Prompt legal representation with a reputable law firm is essential.

The accomplished injury attorneys at Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling daycare injury and negligence claims. We understand the anger, guilt, and grief you are experiencing are completely natural. Our mission is to help your family obtain justice and accountability.

Trust the Dallas daycare injury lawyers at Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers to guide you through holding them responsible for their negligence. Call (214) 777-7777 or contact us online today for a free and confidential consultation. We are here for you.

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