Enrolling your child in daycare can be a heart-wrenching but necessary action. Knowing that someone other than you will be fully responsible for your vulnerable child’s care, safety, and well-being can be a frightening thought. There are so many things to consider. Is your child being treated kindly? Is your child receiving the necessary supervision? Is your child safe?
You carefully evaluate daycare providers, and then put your faith in that provider. However, despite making every effort to choose wisely, your child can still suffer harm due to accidents and neglect.
When a child gets injured at daycare, parents have many questions. Some of the most frequent questions we get asked are:
What types of accidents occur at daycare?
There are a wide range of accidents and injuries that can occur at a daycare facility. These include:
- Playground accidents. Falling from playground equipment is common. Without proper supervision, serious injuries can occur. If they are severe, or if they are not treated immediately and properly, consequences can be catastrophic.
- Falls. A fall can happen anywhere at a daycare facility. A child can fall down a staircase when not being watched. Or a child can trip over a toy on the floor and become injured. Young children often suffer injuries from falling off changing tables.
- Harmful ingestion. An unwatched child can get into anything quickly – including medications, pest control poisons, and more.
- Choking. A young child can choke easily and quickly on a small toy or food when someone is not watching.
- Allergic reaction. Even when you provide very clear guidelines on any allergies your child may have, an inexperienced or negligent worker may not take proper precautions. If an allergic reaction is not treated properly and immediately, it can be life-threatening.
- Motor vehicle accident. Some daycare facilities offer field trips, and accidents can and do happen if bus drivers are not properly vetted.
- Mistreatment by other children. Your child may be bullied or treated brutally by another child, and if no one is watching, the injuries can be serious.
- Negligence. Not watching a child for even a few seconds can result in tragedy. Kids have a knack for finding dangerous situations quickly when adult supervision is lacking.
- Abuse. It seems unthinkable, but reports of abuse of children by daycare operators are more common than most people realize.
What should I do if my child gets hurt at daycare?
The first thing to do is seek appropriate medical attention for your child. After your child has been treated or is out of danger, try to collect the facts of the case. Where and how did your child get injured? Who was supposed to be watching them? Was it a one-time incident, or part of an ongoing pattern of negligence or abuse? An experienced daycare injury attorney could help with investigation strategies.
Who is liable when a child is injured in daycare?
This depends on the individual circumstances of the incident. If it was an officially sanctioned act or a systemic issue, the facility may be liable. If it was a specific employee’s actions that led to the injury, whether through abuse, neglect, or failing to follow safety procedures, the employee may be liable along with the facility.
Your daycare provider has a duty to provide reasonable care to your child. There are many ways a care provider may fail to meet that duty, including:
- Inappropriate caregiver to child ratio. Having too many children to watch over means neglect and accidents can happen.
- Inadequate safety standards. Failure to implement, communicate, or enforce safety rules can enable tragic accidents to occur.
- Insufficient training. Childcare providers in many daycare facilities are often young and inexperienced. If they are not trained properly, your child can suffer the consequences.
- Inadequate administration of food, water, or essential medication. If your child is neglected, he or she may not receive even basic necessities.
- Lack of appropriate bathroom facilities. Without supervision, there are a wide variety of accidents that can occur in a bathroom, especially one that is not designed for children.
- Improper supervision. So many things can happen when children lack appropriate supervision. For example, a child can wander out a side door and onto a highway.
- Inappropriate screening of personnel. This can result in child abuse.
Can I sue a daycare for negligence in South Carolina?
To sue a daycare provider for negligence, you must establish that the facility failed to maintain a reasonable duty of care. That is, something happened to your child that the daycare provider could have prevented if they had operated responsibly. For instance, a facility could be liable for failing to maintain safety devices like gates, or neglecting to ensure playground equipment is safe.
Columbia Daycare Injury Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight to Hold Negligent Daycare Operators Accountable
If your child has experienced neglect or injury at a daycare facility, you may be filled with anger and worry. You may even blame yourself, even though you did your best in selecting proper care. During this difficult time, it is important to turn to qualified legal professionals for help.
The experienced legal team at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. could perform a thorough investigation and hold accountable those whose negligence or wrongdoing resulted in an injury to your child, working tirelessly to build the strongest case possible. Call 803-674-4977 or (803) 929-3600 to arrange a free consultation with a dedicated and highly skilled Columbia daycare injury lawyer or contact us online.
We represent clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.