Various pills that have been spilled out of a bottle.Signs Your Child Is Being Drugged at Daycare

Did you know there are 100,000 fewer childcare workers now compared to before the pandemic? According to a recent New York Times article, citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the child care sector shrank 9.7% since Februrary 2020. Sadly, this shortage translates to less qualified workers who are available to meet the current childcare demand for working parents in Texas.

Taking care of young children requires special skills and our Texas daycare injury lawyers have seen the negative impacts of the qualified-worker shortage firsthand, specifically regarding children’s exposure to drugs and unauthorized medications in Texas daycares:

  • We had one case where unqualified workers gave toddlers in their care Benadryl to make them sleepy and easier to manage. This was particularly dangerous because the over-the-counter medication explicitly said it was not approved for children under 5 or for the purpose of a sleep aid.
  • In another incident, multiple toddlers were exposed to THC, a chemical in marijuana, when they ate a bag of THC gummy candies that an unqualified worker brought into the childcare facility.

This article will alert you to the red flags that reveal your child is being improperly medicated or exposed to illegal substances at daycare. It will also provide information about how this happens, the Texas laws around medicating children at daycare centers, and what you can do if you suspect your child is being harmed.

What Are Texas’ Rules Around Giving Children Medication at Daycare Centers?

Texas has strict rules meant to protect children and prevent them from being drugged or improperly medicated at a daycare center. The standards outlined by Texas Health and Human Services state that a childcare facility must get permission from a parent before giving a child any type of medication, whether it is an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or a medication prescribed by the child’s doctor. A parent must give the daycare permission in one of the following ways:

  1. Handwritten authorization that is signed and dated
  2. An electronic format like DocuSign or a PDF file that is capable of being viewed and saved
  3. Verbal consent via a telephone call, allowing a worker 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, preauthorization is not required if the medicine is given as it is intended.

What Are Common Drugs Improperly Administered to Children at Texas Daycare Centers?

Our experienced daycare injury attorneys have found the most common drugs that harm children at Texas daycare centers are:

  • Benadryl and other antihistamines, because they make children sleepy, thus easier to control
  • Over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements like Tylenol and melatonin
  • Illegal or controlled substances that unqualified workers bring into daycares, including opioids, stimulants, and THC, the psychedelic chemical that is found in marijuana

A daycare worker giving a child an incorrect doses of prescription medications that a parent has given permission for administering can also harm a child’s well-being.

In addition, young children can access alcohol in Texas daycare centers that irresponsible and unqualified caregivers have brought into the childcare facilities.

How Can You Tell If Your Child Is Drugged or Improperly Medicated at Daycare?

The illegal administration of drugs at a daycare center does not always have noticeable physical signs, so it is important that parents pay attention to their child’s behavior. Signs to watch for include:

  • Changes in sleep patterns and behaviors, including frequent nightmares and bed-wetting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent temper tantrums and outbursts
  • Signs of anxiety or depression
  • Social anxiety such as no longer wanting to play with friends

Parents know their child and their mannerisms best, so being aware of these red flags is key.

What Are Common Injuries that Children Experience When They Are Improperly Drugged at Texas Daycare Centers?

When a parent isn’t aware of medications given to their child or the child is unknowingly exposed to illegal substances, the situation can turn dangerous. A child’s developing body can experience:

  • 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
  • Death caused by an extreme sensitivity to a medication or an overdose of an approved medication

What Should You Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Being Drugged at a Daycare in Texas?

If you suspect your child has been drugged, improperly medicated, or exposed to drugs or alcohol at daycare, recommended steps include: 

  1. Seek immediate medical attention for your child at the pediatrician or emergency room
  2. File a police report since illegal substances are involved and daycare laws were broken
  3. Work to gather evidence of the exposure—ask to see a video of the incident and preserve the footage by recording it with your own smartphone or device, or request a copy of the feed from the daycare director
  4. Contact the compassionate and knowledgeable daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm by calling 214-699-4409 or filling out a contact form. Your family may be eligible for compensation to cover your child’s medical expenses and future treatments, lost wages from your job while serving as your child’s a caregiver as they recover from injuries, 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 exposure and injuries. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Texas Daycare Injury Lawyers

Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child was drugged or improperly medicated 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.

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.