When you choose a daycare center or other child care provider here in South Carolina, you have certain expectations about the health, safety, and supervision of your children. When that trust is violated, and it results in your child being injured, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover financial damages from those responsible.
Here are some common situations that can lead to negligent injuries in daycares, and what you can do to hold daycare facilities or staff legally accountable.
Types of Daycare Negligence
Not all injuries that happen in a daycare are the result of negligence, but negligence in a daycare can take on many forms, such as:
- Unsafe premises. The daycare operator and staff must make sure that the environment for the children is safe and secure from anything that could foreseeably result in a child being injured. Sharp or dangerous materials should not be present, medications should be well-secured, and kitchen or cooking facilities should have restricted access.
- Dangerous toys. Toys with small or loose parts that can be easily swallowed are a real danger, as are toys, cribs, or other play equipment that have been recalled, yet are still available in the daycare.
- Food safety issues. Food allergies are a frequent issue with young children, and cross-contamination or failure to obey allergy warnings can quickly result in a dangerous or even deadly anaphylactic reaction in a child. Food that is spoiled or contaminated by poor hygiene in the kitchen can also lead to severely ill children.
- Improper staffing ratios. Children are curious, impulsive, and vulnerable to injury without proper supervision, but when it comes to cutting costs, the staff is often the first to go in any business. When daycares operate with insufficient staff to look over the number of children in their care, it can result in negligent injuries that could have been avoided if only there had been enough employees available.
- Failure to screen employees. Daycares have a duty to protect children from individuals who do not have the right training or are not legally permitted to be around children. Background checks are critical, and if a daycare negligently hires someone who should not be working with children, the owner or manager may be held liable for injuries or abuse that occur due to poor hiring practices.
The signs of daycare negligence are not always obvious, but with some vigilance, you may be able to spot the signs that something is not right. A single bump, bruise, or small cut may not be a sign of negligence by itself, but unexplained injuries or more severe wounds such as large bruises, lacerations, bite marks, or burns should raise immediate caution flags, as should a repeated pattern of injuries. Your child’s behavior can also be a clue that something is wrong, such as if he or she is suddenly reluctant or afraid to go to daycare.
What to Do When Your Child Is Hurt
When you suspect that negligence or abuse is happening in a daycare, you have options. First, you should act to ensure your child’s safety and remove him or her from the dangerous environment. Local law enforcement can put you in contact with the right authorities, or you may contact the South Carolina Child Protective Services directly for help.
You can also reach out to an attorney with experience handling daycare negligence and abuse. He or she should have resources for parents with injured children and will be able to connect you with the agencies or law enforcement authorities that you need to report the negligence to. Your attorney will also be able to evaluate your legal situation, as you may be able to file a lawsuit against the daycare owner, manager, or employees to recover damages for medical bills and other costs related to your child’s injuries.
Get Legal Help Now
If you believe that your child has been injured due to negligence or abuse in a daycare setting, the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger would like to hear from you today. We believe strongly in protecting the rights of injured children and their families, and we are here to help you. Reach out to us by telephone, use the contact form to send us an email, or click the live chat box on this page to arrange a consultation with a personal injury attorney who will listen to your concerns and care for your family in this difficult time.