Every day in South Carolina, parents rely on daycare centers and other childcare providers to ensure that their children are kept safe while they are away. Choosing to trust a daycare with the supervision and well-being of your child is a big decision for any parent, but unfortunately, some childcare providers violate this trust. 

When children are neglected or abused by a childcare provider, they may suffer from physical injuries and emotional trauma. If you believe that your child has been injured due to negligence or abuse in a daycare setting, our Columbia, SC, daycare abuse attorney is here to help you hold the negligent parties responsible for the harm they have caused. 

What are the Signs of Daycare Abuse or Negligence? 

Kids are naturally energetic and are bound to fall or bump their heads occasionally. While a minor cut or bruising that results from day-to-day play may not be a cause for concern,Daycare Injury on Child's Foot severe wounds or unexplained injuries should raise red flags. Parents should be on the lookout for repeated patterns of injury or severe marks in odd locations on the child’s body. 

Sudden changes in your child’s behavior can also be an indicator of potentially unsafe conditions, such as:

  • Reluctance to go back to the daycare or other signs of fear
  • Anxiety
  • Clinginess
  • Significant changes in behavior
  • Sudden bed-wetting

If you believe something is wrong, our experienced daycare abuse and neglect lawyers can help protect the rights of your children. 

Types of Daycare Child Abuse or Neglect

In South Carolina, childcare centers have a legal responsibility to protect the welfare of your child. These facilities must abide by important safety rules and regulations, and when they are violated, your child can be seriously injured. Some of the most common scenarios that can result in harm to your child include: 

  • Unsafe Premises. Daycare operators and staff are required to ensure that the space is appropriate for children and free from potential hazards, such as sharp objects, unsafe toys or play equipment, or other dangerous materials. Children should not be able to access kitchen or cooking facilities to prevent burns, as well as areas where medications or chemical cleaning supplies are stored in case of accidental ingestion. 
  • Too Few Staff. Having a well-trained and sufficiently large staff to supervise children is crucial for any daycare’s operations. South Carolina has specific staff-to-child ratios that daycare facilities must follow to ensure there are enough workers to oversee the number of children in their care. Unfortunately, many facilities may try to save resources by hiring fewer staff members, which can result in otherwise avoidable harm to your child. 
  • Improperly Screened or Untrained Employees. Children are a particularly vulnerable group to work with, and proper screening processes should always be in place to ensure their safety. Background checks are critical for ensuring that kids are only cared for by those who are legally permitted to be around children and have sufficient training.

What to Do If You Suspect Daycare Abuse in Columbia, SC

Your child’s safety and well-being are first and foremost. Parents who suspect negligence should take the following steps: 

  • Remove your child from the negligent facility as quickly as possible.
  • Seek medical attention, if necessary.
  • Report your concerns to the appropriate authorities. Sometimes, communicating your concerns to the center's owner or operator may not be enough. You can also contact local law enforcement or South Carolina Child Protective Services for help.
  • Keep documentation and record any harmful incidents, such as photographs of your child’s injuries.
  • Consult with a Columbia, SC, childcare injury attorney.

Can You Sue a Daycare for Child Injury? 

Daycares and childcare providers in South Carolina have a responsibility to adhere to certain standards of conduct to ensure your child’s safety and well-being. If a center has failed to uphold certain safety guidelines or a daycare worker has potentially abused your child, they can be held liable. Depending on the extent and severity of the abuse, police may decide to bring criminal charges against the center and any negligent individuals. 

Parents can also pursue civil claims against the abusive center to seek compensation for the unnecessary harm their child has suffered. Our childcare abuse attorneys can help you pursue compensation for pain and suffering, current and future medical bills, the cost of alternative childcare, and more. 

What If I Signed a Liability Waiver and My Child Was Abused at the Daycare?

Parents may be afraid to consult a childcare abuse attorney or bring a claim because they signed a waiver or release form that contains an indemnification provision. This usually looks like a statement that holds that the daycare may not be held liable for any injuries or harm a child may suffer under their care. 

However, these provisions usually do not hold up in court and many daycare facilities include them for the sole reason of hoping parents will believe they cannot sue because they signed the waiver. These contracts will not and should not prevent you from filing a suit against the negligent facility. Our experienced attorneys can look at the waiver and help you understand how it will not interfere with your ability to pursue compensation on behalf of your injured child.

Speak with our Children's Injury Attorneys Serving South Carolina 

If you suspect that your child has been the victim of a negligent or abusive daycare center, our experienced daycare injury lawyer team is here to help you navigate this stressful and overwhelming process. As a parent, you may be rightfully scared, frustrated, or angry about the abuse your child has suffered. Our firm is here to answer your questions and help you understand how we can protect your injured child’s legal rights. 

Kenneth Berger
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Columbia and Myrtle Beach car accident and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.