Lessons Learned About Making Incident Reports At Texas Daycare Centers

Russell Button
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Texas Trial Lawyer

Unfortunately, when one of our children are injured at a daycare center, the last thing on our mind is making sure an incident report is made in writing and reported. Here are some lessons learned from our prior clients about why it is so important to do this properly.

Get Incident Reports In Writing

Let’s say that you are called to your kid’s daycare center and notified about an incident. The daycare staff hands your child to you and tells you that they were hurt while playing but your child should be fine. The staff downplays the extent and there are no visible injuries to your child, so your guard is down. You don’t get an incident report in writing.

Then, a few months pass by or maybe even a year, you find out your child has a broken arm and the daycare center did not have a proper childcare ratio for effective supervision that day. Now, nothing was ever documented. The daycare center will later claim they didn’t know your child was injured. Thus, the injury must have happened after your child left that day because it wasn’t made in writing and documented. Is this true or fair? Absolutely not, but it happens so often and the daycare center will try to get away with it.

What Do You Do If You Request To Do An Incident Report, but They Won’t Let You?

We have seen instances where the parents want to do an incident report, but the daycare center says that they only do them for serious injuries. First of all, that is not a good safety system because it is not the result that determines how dangerous something is. You want a daycare that wants to prevent the type of conduct that caused the injury to happen regardless of the injuries that actually happen. It is no different than preventing an unqualified truck driver from being on the roads. We don’t want unqualified truck drivers behind 18-wheelers any more than we want dangerous daycare employees handling our kids.

Second, who are they to make the determination of what is a serious injury and what is not? You cannot see a brain injury or nerve damage on the outside nor can you see most broken bones. Last, they are not doctors with medical training to make that determination.

If the daycare center does not want you to do an incident report, here is what you can do:

  1. Take a piece of paper and write out the date and what happened (to your best understanding) and when it happened (time) and where (daycare facility and exactly what part of the daycare facility).
  2. Include details you were told and how the staff acted.
  3. Include details of how you found out.
  4. Sign it, make a copy and hand them a copy, but you keep the original. This is to ensure that you know it exists. If you do this but give the daycare facility your only copy, it may not exist later on.
  5. Write down the name of the person that you handed it to – first and last name.

Just do something to give them a written statement. Something is better than nothing here.

Why make your own copy, don’t they have to keep them?

The daycare center should maintain copies but they often don’t. Also, if your kid no longer attends that daycare facility, it is more likely that the records will not be there by the time a daycare law firm like ours would get involved down the road. We hope that daycare centers keep reports of incidents in an investigation file to train in the future, but far too few daycare centers do this type of proactive training on past failures. They just don’t want to learn from their lessons.

Still Do An Incident Report If No Injury?

The easy answer is yes, please! The reason is that it will be in the file, or should be, when something happens to another kid in the future. If a teacher is repeatedly punishing a child in a fashion that you disagree with, if it is not noted, we would never know.

Incident reports help anyone impacted after your child know that a certain piece of equipment has had failures in the past or a particular teacher has a violent past. We need to be able to see red flags in the files and this is one way of how we do that.

Want To Learn More About How To Put An Incident Report In Writing After Your Child Was Injured At A Dallas Daycare Center?

If you or a loved one has been impacted by a Dallas daycare facility, reach out to us at 214-888-2216. Our daycare negligence team is ready to handle all your needs and answer any questions you may have. When your child is hurt, the last thing you want to do is deal with the legal side. Let us guide you through that process so you can focus on your child’s medical treatment and your family.