It’s heartbreaking to think about, but unfortunately, it is a reality. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and even older children are hurt or injured at day care. Mothers and fathers put their trust (not to mention their money) in day care centers like KinderCare, La Petite Academy and Kiddie Academy. They expect their children—first and foremost—to be looked after and safe at the end of the day. While most injuries that happen at day cares aren’t intentional, a lot do happen due to negligence and abuse.
This year alone we’ve had five potential clients for injuries at Chicagoland Kinder Care facilities as well as others against various providers. Let’s take a look at how these injuries might happen in day care centers.
Defects in the Day Care Environment
Although these centers are designed with children’s safety in mind, there could be defects in the center or defective baby products and toys. A loose floor tile could cause a child to trip and hit their head. A baby may fall out of a bouncy seat that is prone to tipping. That seat may have been recalled by the manufacturer but the day care center neglected to pay attention and remove it. Lots of these facilities have playgrounds and it’s not uncommon for their to be sharp objects on a slide or jungle gym. When the staff isn’t inspecting the property on a regular basis, injuries can happen.
Neglect/Mistakes by the Staff Members
As every parent knows firsthand, children need constant supervision. Children are curious and obviously can’t gauge whether something they are doing is dangerous or not. Day care staff members are trained and paid to pay attention to what the children are doing and how they are interacting with each other. If a child gets into someone’s purse and mistakes medication for candy, a bad situation can occur. If a child becomes aggressive with another child, and the staff fails to notice or step in, an injury can happen. Perhaps the staff thinks a water balloon fight is a good idea for the older kids at the center. But not all pieces of the broken balloons are picked up and a younger child puts a piece in their mouth and chokes on it. We’ve seen a lot of cases where generally there is negligent supervision or too many kids and not enough staff. Injuries that occur when that happens usually result in lawsuits.
Abuse by the Staff Members
Although the employees of child care centers are interviewed, screened and trained to take care of your child/children and never do any harm, we do see situations where staff members intentionally hurt children. The abuse might include pinching, slapping, shaking or hitting a child. Bruises, broken bones, or more severe injuries might result, as well as mental trauma. In some terrible cases there have been instances of sexual abuse by adults on children by staff members. In other instances a non-employee family member of a staff member has been able to roam freely and abuse the kids.
We described a few scenarios above, but there are sadly many other examples. No matter what the cause was, if your child was injured or abused at a day care center, you may be entitled to compensation. We have over 25 years of experience and would be happy to talk to you for free. Call us any time at 312-346-5320 to speak with an attorney at no cost and in confidence.