Brain Injuries at Texas Daycare Facilities
Parents trust daycares and their workers to keep their children safe while they are at work. However, the latest report from Texas Health and Human Services states that 1,415 Texas children have experienced serious injuries—including brain injuries—at daycares across the state over a two-year span.
When a child experiences an injury to the brain, such as a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts its function, it is called a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. While they can run the spectrum of minimal damage to seriously life-altering, brain injuries can be especially detrimental in children because their brains are still developing.
Our Dallas injury lawyer is sharing more information to help empower parents on signs to look for, what to do if you suspect your child has experienced a brain injury at the hands of a daycare worker in Texas, and how daycares can better protect children in their care to prevent these serious child injuries from happening in the first place.
Causes of Brain Injuries in Texas Daycare Centers and How to Prevent Them From Happening
In order to know how daycares can prevent children from experiencing brain injury, it is important to understand how brain injuries occur at childcare facilities. The most common factor is neglect or abuse by daycare staff. In fact, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) estimates more than 68,000 children were abused or neglected in 2021.
Common scenarios where neglect and improper supervision of children at daycare can cause a child’s TBI include:
- The child falling off playground equipment and hitting their head
- An infant falling off a changing table
- Children playing with age-inappropriate toys that can lead to choking
- Improper sleep environments and practices that can result in suffocation
Sadly, instances of physical abuse by a daycare worker that result in a child hitting their head on the ground, or an object, can cause a TBI. For infants, daycare workers who are not properly trained and violently shake a child out of frustration can also cause a TBI and sometimes death.
The above scenarios with devastating consequences are heartbreaking because they can be preventable when caregivers simply follow safe practices, as outlined by Texas laws. Key actions that daycare operators and providers can take to create safe environments for children include:
- Properly vetting employees before hiring them
- Providing adequate training for employees, including proper discipline methods
- Supervising all employees to ensure the children in their care are safe
Daycares should also ensure that all spaces in the facility are childproof by installing barriers or protective gear around hard edges and surfaces to help children avoid hitting their heads.
Signs That Your Child Has a Brain Injury
Unlike most injuries to the body, brain injuries are not always immediately apparent. Many children may not be able to fully communicate their feelings, but you know your child and their mannerisms best and will be able to tell if something is not right. Common symptoms of TBIs to watch out for:
- Blurred vision
- Convulsions or seizures
- Numbness or tingling of arms and legs
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Slurred speech
- Trouble concentrating or memory lapse
Steps to Take If Your Child Experienced a Brain Injury at a Texas Daycare
As you know, brain injuries can be life-threatening injuries. The brain controls multiple functions—everything from our breathing and motor skills to our vision, thoughts, and emotions. It even regulates our body temperature. Thus, a healthy brain is vital to a child’s optimal quality of life. If you believe that your child has experienced a TBI at the hands of a daycare facility or worker, follow these key steps:
- Immediately seek medical attention to have your child evaluated for a TBI. While there is no cure for a TBI, medical treatments can help their short- and long-term recovery.
- Report it immediately to the police to establish documentation of the incident in addition to the medical records.
- File a daycare injury report online or by phone with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Under Texas laws, the daycare is required to do this, but it is important that you also take this step, as not all daycares comply.
- Contact the compassionate and knowledgeable day care injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm by calling 214-699-4409 or filling out a contact form. We will be ready to listen and advise your family on the best approach to get justice for your child’s injuries.