It is no secret that daycares in Houston are in-demand, with 7.8% of Harris County’s population under the age of 5, according to the city’s report on the Need for Early Childhood Education. However, with pressure to meet the rising need for childcare in Houston, some daycare centers are forgoing important safety protocols, including hiring unqualified workers who expose kids to drugs and unauthorized medications. In fact, in one case that our knowledgeable daycare injury lawyers resolved, multiple toddlers were exposed to THC when they ate a bag of drug-laced gummy candies that an unqualified worker brought into the daycare center.
If you suspect your child was drugged or improperly medicated at a daycare center anywhere in Houston, our Houston daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm can help you get the compensation your family deserves. We fight to get justice for families in cities across the Houston metro area: Atascocita, Bellaire, Clear Lake, Conroe, Cypress, Deer Park, Friendswood, Humble, Jersey Village, Katy, Lake Jackson, League City, Missouri City, Pasadena, Pearland, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and Tomball. Call us at 281-857-6116 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.
What Do Laws Say About Giving Children Medication at Daycare Centers in Houston?
Daycare centers in the Houston area are required to follow minimum standards—the laws instated to protect kids at childcare facilities from being harmed. This includes incidents of being drugged or improperly medicated. The minimum standards require a childcare facility to get permission from a parent before giving a child any type of over-the-counter pain reliever or medicine prescribed by the child’s doctor.
The law specifically dictates that Houston parents give a daycare center permission to administer any medication in one of the following ways:
- Handwritten authorization that is signed and dated
- An electronic format like DocuSign or a PDF file that is capable of being viewed and saved
- Verbal consent via a telephone call, permitting a worker at the daycare center to administer a single dose of medication
The first two parental permissions at a daycare only last one year. In the event of an emergency and a child’s life is at risk, such as a severe allergic reaction, preauthorization is not required as long as the medicine is given to the child for its intended purpose.
Common Drugs Improperly Administered to Children at Houston Daycare Centers
Our experienced Houston daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm have seen firsthand how children are being drugged at negligent daycare centers. The most common incidents are caused by:
- Benadryl and other antihistamines that make children sleepy, thus easier to control
- Over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements like Tylenol and melatonin
- Daycare workers giving a child an incorrect dose of an approved medicine
Lastly, young children can access illegal and controlled substances brought into Houston daycare centers by unqualified and unsupervised workers such as:
- THC, the psychedelic chemical that is found in marijuana
- Tranquilizing drugs like Valium and Xanax
Signs Your Child Is Drugged or Improperly Medicated at a Daycare Center in Houston
A child’s behavior is the primary indicator that he or she was exposed to illegal drugs at a daycare center in Houston. Here is where a parent’s perceptive nature shines, enabling them to notice when something is not right.
The primary behavioral signs that Houston parents should watch for include:
- Changes in sleep patterns and behaviors, including frequent nightmares and bed-wetting
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent temper tantrums and outbursts
- Regressions in developmental milestones
- Signs of anxiety or depression
- Social anxiety such as no longer wanting to play with friends
More information to help parents identify signs your child was drugged or improperly medicated at a Houston daycare center can be found here.
How Can Children Get Hurt When They Are Improperly Drugged at Daycare Centers in Houston?
It can be dangerous when Houston parents aren’t made aware of medications given to their child at a daycare center, or in the event that the young child is unknowingly exposed to illegal substances.
Houston children can experience the following medical emergencies when they are drugged at daycare centers:
- Brain injury from a drug overdose
- Cardiac arrest
- Organ damage
- Severe reaction to unauthorized medications, such as going into anaphylactic shock or experiencing a seizure
Sadly, a child can be killed by an extreme sensitivity to a medication or an overdose of an approved medication. That is why parental approvals and permissions are so important.