No parent wants to receive a call from their child’s daycare informing them of an injury. One concerning situation is a daycare sleep injury.
In this article, our Texas daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm provide an overview of daycare sleep injuries and safe sleep practices that daycare centers in Texas are required to follow. In addition, we provide an overview about the legal options parents may have if their child was seriously hurt because a daycare center did not follow safe sleep practices.
Understanding Sleep Injuries at Daycare Centers in Texas
No matter how old a child is, safe sleep practices are vital to preventing sleep injuries at Texas daycare centers. Children can suffer from brain injuries, broken bones, suffocation, or even choking when daycares do not comply with these safety standards.
To best help parents, here’s a breakdown of sleep injuries by age groups: infants and young children, which includes toddlers and preschoolers.
Infant Sleep Injuries at Texas Daycare Centers
Infants at Texas daycare centers may sleep a majority of the day as part of their developmental milestones, which is why safe sleep practices are especially important. For these most-vulnerable children, sleep injuries are most common when they are not put in safe environments. For example, little ones who fall asleep in a highchair, bouncy contraption, or on a playmat should be moved to a crib or bassinet.
In addition, infant caregivers need to be mindful of:
- A child’s sleep positioning by placing babies on their back to prevent tragic incidents like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is the third leading cause of death among infants.
- Proper swaddling techniques that can prevent suffocation incidents when a little one begins to independently move their head or roll over and potentially get a blanket wrapped too tightly around their neck.
- Securing crib gates to prevent a little one from rolling over and falling several feet to the ground. A substantial fall can injure their head or potentially break bones in their little, fragile body.
- Suffocation hazards like soft bedding and stuffed toys should be removed from a baby’s crib or bassinet. A September 2023 report from the Consumer Product and Safety Commission revealed these seemingly harmless items were responsible for an annual average of 100 infant deaths between 2018 and 2020.
Young Child Sleep Injuries at Daycare Centers in Texas
Young children including toddlers and preschoolers who attend daycare for five hours or longer are required to have a scheduled nap or rest time. A lack of supervision during naptime is the most common reason for this age group’s sleep injuries at daycare centers. This can happen when a daycare does not have an adequate child-to-caregiver ratio , workers are not properly trained, or the facility hires unqualified workers.
Young children who are not carefully watched can:
- Choke by accessing stowed baskets of toys or supplies
- Wander out of a classroom to an unsafe area of the daycare center
Sleep Injuries at Overnight Daycare Centers in Texas
Parents in Texas who work an overnight job may rely on nighttime childcare. Daycare centers that offer this specialized care need to be especially diligent to ensure children of all ages are in safe sleep environments and supervised by watchful eyes throughout the night.
Can I Sue the Daycare Center If My Child Is Hurt by a Preventable Sleep Injury?
Yes, if a child is hurt while sleeping at a daycare center in Texas, parents can file a lawsuit to hold the daycare and relevant caregivers accountable for failing to follow safe sleep practices.
Taking legal action will prompt an investigation into the daycare center’s failure to comply with state laws and safety guidelines, known as the minimum standards, which, if properly followed, could have prevented the child’s injuries.
In most cases, a daycare injury lawsuit is considered a civil case. However, in the instance that a caregiver purposely hurt a child and caused a sleep injury, there could be civil and criminal components to a case.
You can learn more about the process of filing a daycare injury lawsuit in this video. Also, check out our list of frequently asked questions about filing a daycare lawsuit.
What Is My Family Entitled to If We File a Lawsuit After Our Child’s Sleep Injury at Daycare?
By filing a lawsuit against the daycare for a child’s sleep injury, parents can seek compensation, also known as damages. A family may be compensated for the following damages in a daycare sleep injury case:
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses, including a child’s ongoing or future medical treatments and therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages from missing work while serving as a caregiver for a child recovering from injuries
Sadly, the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates there are more than 3,500 sleep-related infant deaths in the United States, including Texas daycare centers, every year. In the tragic event that a child experiences a fatal injury because a daycare center neglected to follow safe sleep practices, surviving parents may be eligible for compensation in a daycare wrongful death lawsuit to cover:
- Emotional damages such as pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of consortium for family members
- Medical expenses incurred prior to a child’s passing away
- Other unexpected costly fees
What are the Time Limitations to File a Lawsuit Against a Daycare Center for a Child’s Sleep Injury?
The statute of limitations, or time limit, in Texas to file a lawsuit is two years from the date of your child’s sleep injury at the daycare center. Our Texas daycare lawyers recommend that you reach out sooner than later after the incident involving your child in order to strengthen your case. Often , filing quickly is beneficial because it helps with identifying and gathering evidence from various sources while memories of the incident are still fresh. This can help you hold the daycare accountable for the negligence that caused your child’s sleep injuries.
What Does It Cost to Speak to an Attorney If My Child Was Hurt by a Sleep Injury at Daycare?
It is free to reach out to our daycare injury attorneys with questions following an incident involving your child’s sleep injury at a daycare center. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to speak with you or begin work on your case. Reach out for a free consultation by calling 214-699-4409 or filling out a contact form.
How Our Texas Daycare Sleep Injury Lawyers Can Help Your Family
Our team of experienced and compassionate Texas daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child was injured or killed while sleeping in the care of a daycare facility. With attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen and fight for your family. 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.