As a parent, you expect your child to run, play, and have fun while at daycare. You expect them to be safe. However, this is not always the case. In some situations, daycare centers use restraints as a way to control a child or limit their movement. These restraints can lead to injuries and irreparable harm, especially when used as a form of punishment or abuse.
What Are Physical Restraints?
Restraints are any type of device used to limit a person's mobility or otherwise keep them from moving freely. There are several types of restraints, including:
- Physical restraints. This type of restraint may be the use of a strap to hold a child to a table or chair. Sometimes a worker uses a sheet or tablecloth to do this. Tape used over a child's mouth is another example. Sometimes, daycares claim they do this because the child was going to hurt themselves or others.
- Chemical restraints. This type of restraint is the use of medications taken orally or injected. This restraint may include what seems to be acceptable medications like an antihistamine. These may subdue a child or make them sleep. Parents should know ahead of time before anyone gives their child medication.
- Seclusion. Though it may not seem like a restraint, seclusion is a form of limitation. It removes the child from other people and places them in a space where they are alone. That's not the same as a teacher taking a child out in the hallway to speak to them. Rather, the child is in a space they cannot leave for an extended period of time.
What Injuries Can Occur as a Result of Restraints?
A child who has been restrained might use physical force to try to get out of it. As a result, this can lead to cuts and scratches. If placed too tightly on the arms or legs, restraints can also limit blood flow to the limbs and extremities. A child may bang their head against a hard object in protest of the restraint.
In severe cases, a child may become so overworked and frightened by the use of the restraint that their heart beats at a very rapid rate, and their breathing is shallow. This may cause additional problems. With chemical restraints, the use of medications may cause a range of allergic reactions or, in some cases, may sedate the child, leading to a lack of oxygen getting to the brain. When a child is in seclusion, no one is watching them, putting them at risk of injury.
More so, restraints of all types can cause emotional scars. That's especially the case when other children watch what's happening. Your child may be afraid to be alone or describe being unsafe. Sometimes, children will internalize this type of event, and it can lead to problems for years to come.
Who Is Liable for Daycare Injuries?
The daycare may be liable for any physical restraint injuries that occur to a child while in their care. If the location uses restraints, parents need to know that ahead of time. A formal physical restraint plan must also be in place. It outlines when they can be used and for what reasons, such as in extreme situations.
Additionally, the daycare may be liable if they do not provide proper training to a daycare worker who uses restraints. If that worker does so improperly, and the child suffers injuries, that may indicate liability even in situations that warrant the use of restraints.
What Can You Do If Your Child Was Hurt in a Restraint?
If a Texas daycare used restraints on your child and you were not informed that this could happen, reach out to a personal injury attorney right away. If you did not provide permission for their use or you specifically stated you did not want this type of punishment done to your child, communicate that with your attorney.
If your child has injuries when you pick them up from daycare, take them to receive immediate medical care. This ensures your child's health is the focus. It also helps with documenting what occurred. Gather witness statements and contact information from all who saw what occurred if it is safe to do so.
Even if the daycare center told you it was necessary, reach out to an attorney who can help you ensure your child was not the victim of abuse. Injuries should never occur in the right environment.
Possible Compensation for Your Child
Your child may be eligible for financial compensation for their losses. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this compensation may include:
- Coverage for any medical bills obtained as a result of the restraints
- Emergency medical transportation and services
- Specialist care for medical needs
- Therapy for overcoming the mental trauma inflicted on the child
- Financial compensation for your lost time at work as a result of the incident
- Pain and suffering claims
When to Contact a Lawyer About a Texas Daycare
When a child is put into a restraint of any type, the daycare center should notify you immediately. At that point, focus on getting your child the help they need, including medical support as needed. Do not apologize for your child or in any way admit that your child should have been placed in restraints.
Then, reach out to a daycare injury attorney. Provide information about what occurred and help your attorney gather necessary information and evidence in your case. Work closely with the Texas personal injury attorney to get the support you need.
This is a traumatic experience for you and your child. You do not have to deal with it on your own, especially if it is the result of negligence. Instead, contact The Button Law Firm. Let us determine what your legal options are when your child has suffered at someone else's hands. Contact us online now or call for a consultation.