Is a Daycare Legally Responsible for a Child’s Serious Injury or Death?
If you are a parent, you probably can remember the very first time you took your child to daycare. It can be extremely hard to put your child in the care of another party. News stories about poor care or even intentional abuse in daycares, after-school programs, and other childcare facilities only worsen parents’ anxieties. While most childcare businesses are safe and run by caring staff, not every daycare lives up to parents’ expectations. Problems such as understaffing, inadequate staff training, and poor building maintenance can put children in danger. In some cases, children are severely injured or even killed by daycare negligence. If your child was hurt at daycare, read on to learn about your legal options.
Daycare Negligence Can Take Many Forms
We expect daycares to be safe havens for our children when we cannot watch them ourselves. Sadly, some daycares are far from this idealistic image.
A daycare may be liable for injuries and deaths caused by negligence. Negligence can take many forms, including:
Negligent supervision – As any parent can tell you, children can find a way to get into trouble in a matter of seconds. Staff should always keep watch over children to make sure they are safe. This is especially important when the children are playing outside or around potentially hazardous objects. Children should also be monitored during mealtimes to reduce the risk of choking.
Negligent hiring – Daycares should carefully vet potential employees before hiring them. When daycares fail to conduct background checks or recognize red flags, children may be exposed to dangerous predators with a history of child abuse.
Insufficient staff training – Daycare staff should know how to prevent avoidable child injuries and accidents. Staff should also be fully aware of any allergies or medical conditions the children have and what to do if a child shows signs of a medical emergency.
Dangerous playground equipment – Playground equipment must be regularly maintained and inspected for any hazards. Falling off of equipment accounts for just under 80 percent of playground accidents. Approximately 60 percent of fatal playground accidents are caused by strangulation. Many injurious and fatal playground accidents could have been prevented if staff were properly supervising the children.
Hazardous conditions in the childcare facility – Daycares should be designed with children in mind. Hazardous items like cleaning supplies should be locked away. Furniture should be secured to the wall to prevent it from falling down on a child. Smoke alarms should be in working order and regularly tested.
Unsanitary conditions – Severe illness can easily spread in a daycare when the facility is not regularly cleaned and sanitized.
Contact a Chicago Childcare Injury Lawyer
If your child was injured or killed by daycare negligence, contact Schwartz Injury Law right away. Our Cook County personal injury attorneys can help you hold the negligent facility accountable for the harm your child suffered. You may also be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills and other damages. Call 708-226-9000 for a free consultation to learn more.