Common Infant Injuries at Texas Daycares
Infants are fragile, as their skulls, spinal cords, bones, and brains are not fully developed. So, when they get injured, the impact of the injury can be more serious than it would be for an older child. With approximately 62% of Texas moms in the paid labor force, and 59% of Texas children in families with two working parents, daycare is necessary to watch little ones while parents are at work.
As more families with young children are moving to Texas, more infants are enrolled in daycare centers each year. Therefore, our Dallas injury lawyer says, it is important that daycares make safety practices focused on infants a priority. In this article, we will break down the most common daycare injuries of infants that occur at Texas daycares and the ways to prevent them from happening.
Daycare Sleep Injuries and Prevention Methods
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimates there are more than 3,500 sleep-related infant deaths in the United States every year. These deaths can be prevented, but only if caregivers are properly trained to follow state guidelines and safe sleep recommendations from experts.
When it comes to infants, sleep accidents and injuries are most common when they are not put in safe environments. The AAP recommends infants sleep on their backs on a flat, level surface. Caregivers should not place anything in the crib with the child, especially anything soft, like a blanket or a toy. In addition, it is important that infants younger than four months not routinely sleep on any inclined surface like a car seat, stroller, infant sling, or carrier.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) happens when a caregiver violently shakes a child. According to the Mayo Clinic, SBS destroys a child’s brain cells. The violent act prevents the brain from getting enough oxygen, resulting in severe brain damage and sometimes death. When a baby is shaken, their brain moves around in the skull, causing bruising, swelling, and bleeding.
Babies who are between two and four months old are at the greatest risk of SBS. At this age, babies are more likely to cry inconsolably. They also have weak neck muscles that are unable to support the weight of their heads, so violent shaking can have severe lifelong consequences. If a baby won’t stop crying after all other options have been exhausted, the best thing to do is put the child down in a safe place and walk away for a few moments.
Abuse from a Daycare Worker
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) estimates more than 68,000 children were abused or neglected in 2021. Some of those children were abused at daycares, summer camps, and after-school programs by the very people working parents trusted to take care of their children.
Infants are not able to tell you what is happening at daycare. However, knowing what to look out for can help detect abuse faster. Major signs of daycare abuse include broken bones, severe bruising, and brain, and organ damage. Other signs to look for on your infant include marks, scratches, bumps, cuts or sores, and missing hair.
Infants tend to put everything in their mouths, which can lead to choking. This can happen when food or a toy that isn’t age-appropriate becomes stuck in their throat. Infants may try to communicate their inability to breathe by making a high-pitched sound, or they may cough weakly, or their skin may break out in a red tint.
When an infant is choking at daycare, it is important to call 911 and perform the proper first aid care by turning the baby over so that they are facing face upwards and give them up to five chest thrusts to squeeze the air out of the infant’s lungs and dislodge the blockage.
What to Do If Your Baby Was Injured at a Texas Daycare
If your child was injured while at daycare, it's important that you take the proper steps to get help for your infant. Be sure to seek immediate medical help for your child and to follow up with your child's pediatrician. After you get treatment, it's important to report the incident to the proper authorities. In Texas, instances of daycare abuse, neglect, or other injuries must be reported to the Department of Health and Family Services (DFPS). If a daycare worker committed criminal acts, like physical or sexual abuse, report it to the police. It's important that the police art notified to be able to conduct a thorough criminal investigation.
After you have gotten your child medical help and reported the incident to the proper authorities, the next step to take is to talk to a daycare injury lawyer. Daycare injury lawyers, like our team at The Button Law Firm, are experienced in handling the complexities involved in daycare cases and can help parents with taking the right next steps. Learn more about how we've helped families move forward after a daycare injury by reading our success stories.
How The Button Law Firm Holds Negligent Day Cares Accountable
Our team of experienced daycare abuse attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your infant or child was injured at daycare. With offices in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen, fight for your family, and help your family move forward. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.