You leave for work and trust your child’s daycare to take care of your child. This care includes feeding your child meals and snacks. Whether you send in your own food or the daycare provides food, the daycare is responsible for the safe storage, handling, and preparation of the food so that your child doesn’t end up with food poisoning.
Food Poisoning Is Dangerous for Young Children
Food poisoning comes from eating or drinking something that contains one of the following:
- Bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella
- A virus such as norovirus or rotavirus
- A parasite such as toxoplasma or giardia
People of every age are susceptible to food poisoning—especially when food is not handled safely. However, young children don’t have the same immunity as adults and are more likely to become severely ill.
Typically, food poisoning symptoms begin anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours after eating or drinking the contaminated food or beverage. Symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps and pain
When young kids get sick from food poisoning, diarrhea, and vomiting can make them dehydrated. Dehydration requires medical treatment if your child can not hold down any liquid. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Extreme thirst
- Dry mouth
- Eyes that appear sunken in
- Little or no tears when crying
- Little or no urination
- On the head of an infant, the soft spot appears sunken in
If your child experiences any of these symptoms, call your child’s doctor or go to the hospital for IV treatment. Additionally, you should call the doctor or go to the hospital if your child experiences:
- Blood in vomit or diarrhea
- Changes in vision
- Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Breathing problems
- Vomiting that continues after 12 hours
- Intense abdominal cramps
- Tingling or weakness
Texas Daycares Must Take Steps to Avoid Food Poisoning
Texas daycares must use reasonable care to prevent kids from getting sick. Additionally, Texas regulations require childcare providers to comply with certain food service and preparation standards to make sure that food and drinks provided to children are stored, prepared, distributed, and served under sanity and safe conditions. Specifically, daycare providers must:
- Sanitize food service equipment including dishes and utensils after every use or use disposable single-use items
- Wash re-usable bibs, napkins, and tablecloths after every use or discard single-use items after each use
- Serve all food on a sanitary surface such as a plate, napkin, or high chair tray rather than right on the table or floor
- Not let people prepare food if they have open wounds or if they can’t wash their hands due to casts, bandages, or for other reasons
- Cover all food stored in a refrigerator
- Prepare meals in areas that are separated from areas used for playing, eating, or toileting
- Prevent people from using the food preparation area like a hallway or passageway while food is being prepared
- Not store cleaning supplies or other toxic materials near food
- Make sure food is not expired
- Supervise children to prevent cross-contamination of food
These steps can prevent some instances of food poisoning.
Don’t Trust the Daycare to Protect Your Child’s Food Poisoning Recovery
If the daycare failed to follow safe food storage, handling, and serving protocols, and your child suffered food poisoning as a result, then you may be able to pursue a daycare negligence lawsuit.
Your child has experienced intense physical pain, serious emotional suffering, and you have lost income and incurred significant medical bills because of the daycare’s negligence.
Your family deserves a fair recovery, but the daycare is unlikely to provide it unless you fight for it. You can start your child’s legal recovery today by contacting our Texas daycare injury lawyers for an initial consultation and by downloading a free copy of our publication, A Five-Step Guide for Parents Dealing With a Daycare Injury. Together, we will work to get your child and your family a fair recovery from the food poisoning injuries your child suffered due to daycare negligence.