Daycare Negligence

No parent ever wants to get an unexpected call from their children's daycare provider advising that one of their children has been injured. If you do receive that heart-stopping call, please be aware that such institutions owe your children a high level of care and may be legally held responsible for your child's injury.

The primary purpose of a daycare setting is to care for children in a manner that ensures their health and safety. This is done through the creation of a safe physical environment and effective supervision:

The creation of a safe physical environment ensures that children are not exposed to hazards that create dangerous conditions.
To eliminate dangerous conditions, the daycare needs to assess the environment from the perspective of the ages and developmental abilities (physical, emotional, intellectual, and social abilities) of the children in their care. This assessment involves taking into account reasonably foreseeable conditions; those conditions that may occur during intended use and those that may occur when children engage in risky behavior. To create a safe environment, hazards must be eliminated. When that is not possible, the child needs to be protected from them. When hazardous items cannot be eliminated, the environment needs to be modified through layers of protection so children cannot gain access to them.

Supervision is a critical layer of protection to ensure the health and safety of the children in a daycare. Supervision strategies include being able to see and hear the children, being in close enough proximity to the children to be able to intervene, and continuity of care.
To supervise appropriately, the caregivers need to be critically aware of the developmental abilities of the children under their care and the expected behaviors associated with the varying ages. Supervision also includes checking the environment for safety prior to the children's arrival on a daily basis and throughout the day.

Professional development is needed to provide training to individuals responsible for the direct care and supervision of children.
Training should include, at a minimum: (1) health and safety (including fire prevention, safety procedures, first aid with artificial respiration, and pediatric CPR); (2) child growth and development; (3) nutrition; (4) planning learning activities; (5) guidance and discipline techniques; (6) linkages with community services; (7) communication and relations with families; (8) detection of child abuse; (9) advocacy for early childhood programs; and (10) professional issues.

Was your child injured at daycare? Learn how we can help!

Injuries at daycare facilities can range from minor injuries (from bumps and bruises) to very serious injuries (from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries). Some injuries may even be fatal. Such injuries are usually the result of daycare negligence due to the daycare's failure to follow one or more of the above guidelines (i.e. lack of or inadequate supervision, insufficient staffing, caregivers failing to act properly, unsafe physical environments, etc.).

The civil justice system can help provide accountability and monetary compensation for children who are injured as a direct result of a daycare's negligence and failure to exercise due care. Indiana and the federal government have set standards and statutes for daycares to abide by, which must be followed to ensure children's health and safety while being cared for at such institutions. If such standards are not followed at a daycare facility and an injury results from such failure, then that facility may be legally liable for the child's injury. If you discover yourself in this dire situation, please contact Sweeney • Julian immediately to discuss how the law applies to your child's case.

Sweeney Julian, P.C. - South Bend Personal Injury Lawyer
Located at: 1620 South Bend Avenue South Bend, IN 46617

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