Helping Parents After a Child Experiences a Chemical Burn at Daycare
Chemical burns happen when a child’s skin comes into contact with a harmful chemical or the child inhales toxic fumes. These injuries are a serious concern in daycare centers across Texas. In fact, 4,200 children age five years old or younger have experienced a chemical burn over a two-year span, according to a 2022 U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission annual report.
In this article, our experienced Texas daycare injury lawyers are educating parents and caregivers about the potential dangers of chemical burns, including how to prevent them in Texas daycare centers and what to do if your child experiences a chemical burn while in the care of a childcare facility.
How Do Children Get Chemical Burns at Daycare Centers in Texas?
Chemical burns can occur in a variety of ways at daycare centers in Texas. The improper storage of chemicals such as cleaning supplies is the most common way that kids in daycare can experience a chemical burn. For example, when oven cleaning products, bleach or harsh bathroom cleaners with ammonia intended for toilets or drains are not stored in a locked cabinet or out of reach of little hands, children may be able to access them and get burned.
Additionally, chemicals that are not labeled properly or removed from their original containers and stored in something else, such as recycled juice bottles or colorful spray bottles, can be attractive to young children. The chemicals can be easily confused for water, juice, or a treat and accidentally ingested or spilled on children’s delicate skin, resulting in a chemical burn or poisoning.
That is why it is key for daycare directors and workers to take extra precautions when storing strong cleaning chemicals.
What Are Texas’ Laws About the Storage and Use of Chemicals at Daycare Centers?
In Texas, there are strict rules in place for the storage of chemicals at daycare centers. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, all chemicals must be:
- Inaccessible to children by storing the containers in a locked cabinet or room
- Kept separate from food
- Labeled with the name of the chemical and any potential hazards
- Used, stored, and safely disposed of as recommended by the product manufacturer
Daycare staff must also be trained on the proper handling and storage of chemicals and should be aware of the signs and symptoms of chemical burns involving children.
What Injuries Can Children Sustain from Chemical Burns at Daycare Centers?
We have already established that household cleaners are the most common chemicals that can burn children, but what types of injuries can kids sustain from them?
- Eye Damage: Toddlers (1-2 years old) are 13 times more likely to suffer from chemical burns to the eye than 7-year-old children, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which also notes that chemicals are especially dangerous to young eyes because they continue to burn into the eyeball and can cause permanent damage to the eye’s internal structure.
- Respiratory Damage: When a child inhales a harmful chemical such as chlorine-containing bleach, this can result in a severe burn to the nose, windpipe, and throat that causes long-term respiratory issues.
- Skin: Chemicals in contact with the skin can cause injuries that range from mild to severe. Mild chemical burns may cause redness, itching, and mild pain, while severe chemical burns can cause blisters, deep tissue damage, and permanent scarring.
The good news is: All of these serious injuries are preventable when daycare facilities and caregivers take the necessary precautions, follow the state’s safety standards, and closely supervise the children in their care.
What Should I Do If My Child Gets a Chemical Burn at Daycare?
If your child experiences a chemical burn injury at a daycare center, follow these five steps to help your child heal and hold the daycare accountable for any wrongdoing:
- Take your child to an urgent care clinic, pediatrician, or emergency room as soon as possible for medical attention.
- Get an incident report from your child’s daycare. The report provides a written record of what happened at the daycare, especially if your child’s chemical burn is severe.
- Report the incident to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) by calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400 or make a report online at TXAbuseHotline.org. Per Texas laws, the daycare center is required to report any incidents resulting in a child injury. Your report ensures that the department has been made aware of the incident, whether or not the daycare center has fulfilled its legal responsibility of filing a report.
- Keep track of all correspondence from the childcare facility and its workers. Screenshot text messages and emails discussing the incident, take pictures or make copies of any letters from the daycare or its workers, and make detailed notes of any phone calls with the daycare as they occur. While it may be overwhelming to remember these steps when you are more concerned about your child, keeping a file of correspondence can benefit your family’s legal case to hold the daycare accountable for your child’s chemical burn injury.
- Reach out to our experienced daycare chemical burn injury lawyers by calling 281-857-6116 or filling out a contact form. Chemical burn injuries can be very painful and result in significant physical and emotional trauma for your child. In fact, your family may be eligible for compensation to cover your child’s medical expenses, therapy and other helpful resources, and pain and suffering. We will be ready to listen and advise your family on the best approach to hold the daycare accountable and get justice for your child’s injuries. However, there is a two-year time limit for filing a personal injury claim in Texas, so reach out to our team as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Texas Daycare Chemical Burn Lawyers
Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare chemical burn injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child experiences a chemical burn injury while in the care of a Texas daycare facility. With offices in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen, fight for your family, and help your family move forward. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.