A mother holding her childUnfortunately, children are injured while in daycare far too often. In fact, Texas Health and Human Services conducted 2,070 investigations into incidents of abuse or neglect in licensed childcare centers in 2022 alone.

If you discover or suspect that your child may have been injured by a negligent daycare center, it may be confusing to know what to do next. In this article, our experienced Texas daycare injury attorneys help explain the types of daycare injuries and the steps to take if your child has been injured at a daycare center, including the decision to either keep or remove them from the facility. 

Common Types of Daycare Injuries in Texas

Young children are always curious and exploring. While you are at work, you rely on your child’s daycare center to provide a safe environment where your child is properly supervised. When caregivers fail to do so or if the daycare’s facilities are unsafe, your child may sustain severe injuries. Some common injuries sustained by children in Texas daycare centers include:

  • Bruises. As a toddler’s mobile development progresses, minor falls and some bumps or bruises can be expected. However, if your child regularly comes home with bruises on their body, that should be an immediate red flag that your child is being harmed.
  • Broken bones and dislocated joints. These daycare injuries are often the result of negligence and a lack of proper supervision. In a worst-case scenario, a child may have been forcefully grabbed or struck by a caregiver, leading to a dislocated joint like an elbow or broken bone.
  • Choking and Suffocation. Suffocation can happen when something gets tied around a child’s neck, while choking occurs when a small toy or food that wasn't cut into bite-size pieces gets lodged in a child’s throat. For babies, safe sleep practices are important to prevent suffocation incidents.
  • Head trauma. Head injuries are some of the most severe injuries a child can sustain. However, head injuries don’t always have obvious symptoms, meaning a caregiver may try to hide the fact that a child sustained a head trauma, even if it was an accident. Click here to learn more about signs of brain trauma caused by daycare injuries. These negligent actions should be investigated, and the daycare center should be held responsible for your child’s injuries.
  • Burns and shocks. When daycare centers that care for infants do not properly store bottle warmers, the result may severe burn injuries for toddlers and infants. Also, electrical outlets that are not childproof can shock a child who inserts a toy or utensil. A daycare center could be neglecting to provide a safe environment and failing to supervise children, resulting in a burn or shock incident.
  • Heatstroke. The Texas heat can be brutal and cause incidents of heatstroke when children do not get enough water, are locked in a hot daycare van, or are left outside to play too long on a hot day. This can lead to organ failure, severe brain damage, or even death.

If you suspect your child has been abused by a caregiver, take your child to a doctor to evaluate the injury and report the incident to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Abuse Hotline. If urgent, call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 to speak with someone immediately. In less urgent situations, you can make a report online at TXAbuseHotline.org. Your identity will remain confidential for reports made in good faith.

How Daycare Injuries Happen in Texas

While we have shared an overview of the types of common daycare injuries our Texas daycare injury lawyers have seen firsthand, here are the most common examples of daycare negligence that can hurt children in childcare facilities across the state:

  • Inadequate staffing. Texas childcare laws limit the number of children a daycare worker may supervise with mandated child-to-caregiver ratios. As the demand for childcare increases, some daycare directors may try to stretch their staff to reduce personnel costs. A combination of inadequate staffing and overwhelmed caregivers can create an environment that leads to negligent behavior and injury to your child.
  • Unqualified workers. Daycare workers in Texas must pass a background check and meet minimum requirements, including having a high school diploma and completing eight hours of pre-service training. If a child is injured while in the care of a daycare worker who does not meet the state’s minimum qualifications, the daycare center can be held liable for knowingly endangering your child.
  • Unsafe facilities. The state of Texas has an extensive list of required safety practices for daycare centers covering everything from appropriate furniture and play equipment to emergency procedures for severe weather. When a child is injured because of unsafe or unsecured premises at a childcare facility, the daycare can be held liable. It is the center’s responsibility to conduct regular safety inspections and to correct violations that could harm a child.
  • Criminal acts. A childcare provider should never be physically abusive toward a child. If a childcare provider hurts a child on purpose, the individual may face criminal charges. Further, the daycare center—as their employer—may be held legally responsible for their employee’s actions.

Should I Take My Child Out of Daycare After an Injury?

A child’s daycare injury is traumatic for both the child and parents. Unfortunately, work doesn’t always stop for parents who are trying to protect their child after a daycare injury. A question that our experienced daycare injury lawyers receive time and time again: “Should I send my child back to the daycare that may have harmed them, or should they be put into a new daycare?”

We like to err on the side of caution and recommend that parents find a new childcare center, even if it is a temporary solution. We recommend this for two reasons:

  1. You may be sending them back to be harmed again.
  2. It depends on if you decide to file a claim against the daycare. Even if you have a valid claim and proof of abuse or negligence, the daycare’s defense lawyers will argue that the center must not have been that bad because you sent your child back.

Click here for our free guide, 5 Steps to Take After a Daycare Injury, for more information. You can also reach out to our knowledgeable team by calling us at 214-699-4409 or filling out a contact form with any questions.

Why It’s Important to Contact a Texas Daycare Injury Attorney

A daycare injury can cause your child significant physical and emotional trauma, and it can be stressful for parents like you who are trying to treat and protect your child. It is important to retain an attorney like our experienced and compassionate Texas daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm as soon as possible. We will help guide you through the process, investigate the case, and gather the necessary evidence. 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. However, you should act quickly. There is a two-year time limit from the date of the incident for filing a daycare injury lawsuit in Texas. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation, as time is of the essence. 
Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.