When it comes to keeping children from getting sick while in their care, daycares have a duty to children and parents. During a global pandemic, this is more important than ever. Providers must follow updated state requirements to keep our children, and our communities, safe.
New Requirements for Texas Daycare Centers
In late June, Texas Health and Human Services issued new emergency rules for childcare providers. These rules apply to school-age programs, before and after-school programs, child-care centers, licensed child-care homes, and registered child-care homes. To go with the emergency rules, Texas Health and Humans Services created a checklist of minimum protocols these facilities must follow.
What the Requirements Entail
According to the emergency rules issued by Texas Health and Human Services, qualifying daycare centers must screen anyone entering their facility according to CDC guidance, including checking the temperature of adults and children when they arrive each day. Staff should deny entry to anyone who has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, has signs of a respiratory infection, has been potentially exposed to COVID-19 in the previous 14 days, or who has traveled internationally.
The emergency rules also require daycare centers to:
● Follow CDC requirements for child care programs.
● Ensure caregivers complete the Special Considerations for Infection Control during COVID-19 training through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
● Prohibit visitors unless they have a legal reason to be there.
● Pre-plan pickups and drop-offs and move them to the outside of the building, as well as limiting contact between parents and caregivers.
● Have stricter standards in place when changing diapers and when clothes get contaminated, including having the caregiver and child wash their hands before and after changings.
● Adjust the HVAC system to allow for the flow of fresh air.
● Limit the use of cloth toys.
● Post handwashing posters.
● Limit the use of food preparation sinks
● Prohibit family-style serving of snacks and meals and ensure that children have their own snacks and meals.
● Practice social distancing whenever possible, limiting the mix of
groups of children. Staggered times on the playground and placing nap mats
and cribs at least six feet apart are recommended.
● If someone at the center tests positive for COVID-19, rooms should not be
sanitized for 24 hours to allow enough time for all respiratory droplets to settle.
What Happens if Daycares Don’t Follow the Requirements?
While daycare centers are not responsible for every illness or infection, they could be liable if they didn’t follow regulations or practice reasonable standards of care to prevent the spread of disease. Understaffing is a big problem at many daycares, and lack of adequate staff can lead to negligence when it comes to hygiene and following all the requirements laid out by the state.
You Suspect Your Child’s Daycare Isn’t Following the Requirements and Your Child is Ill—Now What?
If your child becomes ill and you believe you have enough evidence that your child’s daycare has been negligent, you should report your concerns to the daycare. You have the right to request that the daycare look into the situation. If the daycare is unwilling to do so, notify a lawyer immediately. Write down as many details about what you know or suspect about cleanliness procedures at the daycare.
An experienced daycare injury lawyer can help you file a civil claim to
seek compensation for medical expenses, your child’s mental anguish, and other
expenses related to the daycare’s negligence. Filing a lawsuit can also help ensure that no other children are exposed to illness or infection.
At The Button Law Firm, our team is experienced with handling daycare cases and we are dedicated to holding negligent providers responsible. We will do all we can to get your family back to life before a negligent daycare caused you pain and suffering. Connect with us online or call us at 214-699-4409 to schedule a free consultation.