Child wandering after being left unsupervised at a daycare in TexasAs a parent, you pay a daycare center to keep a close eye on your child so that they remain safe and protected while you are at work. (That is the whole purpose of a daycare center.) Unfortunately, not all daycare centers are vigilant and adhere to supervision requirements set by Texas daycare safety laws, also known as minimum standards. In these instances, curious toddlers can wander out of a daycare classroom and, sometimes, leave the facility entirely.

We understand these instances are shocking, but they happen more often than you think. In fact, since the start of 2024, our daycare injury lawyers have worked to help more than three families in Texas with instances of daycare wandering that have been covered in the news. In Allen, a 2-year-old boy was able to exit a daycare center unnoticed. He was found near a busy six-lane road. (His wandering incident was covered by the ABC affiliate in Dallas, WFAA-TV). Another toddler in Nacogdoches ended up in the middle of a highway when she was able to wander out of a local daycare center without any teachers noticing she was missing. (This daycare wandering event was published in The Daily Sentinel). Lastly, a 2-year-old girl was able to leave a daycare center and lock herself in the playground for several hours. (You can read more in Irving Weekly.)

Our Texas daycare injury lawyers are informing parents like you about daycare wandering incidents and what to do if your child is able to wander away from a local daycare center.

Step 1: Evidence and Documentation

If you ever discover that your child was able to wander while in the care of a local daycare center, the first thing to focus on is gathering evidence to help document the incident.

In our experience, some negligent daycare centers will attempt to cover up wandering incidents. It is important to report the wandering event to the right authorities by submitting an online form to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400. Your report to the state will create a paper trail with an incident report and prompt an investigation into your child’s daycare wandering and any subsequent injuries.

During this stage, you can also work to gather other evidence and documentation by:

  • Saving any written communications between you and the daycare center’s employees about the wandering incident—screenshot texts, print emails, and save or make copies of any letters
  • Taking detailed notes on any conversations you have with the director and/or caregivers at the daycare center to learn additional details about your child’s wandering incident
  • Consulting with nearby businesses and requesting surveillance footage if your child was able to leave the facility
  • Speaking with any eyewitnesses, such as good Samaritans who may have found your child or stopped to rescue them

Detailed information and evidence can help get you answers regarding what happened to your child and strengthen your case against the negligent daycare center.

Step 2: Reaction of the Daycare Center’s Director and Caregivers

Secondly, pay attention to how a daycare center’s director and caregivers react following your child’s wandering incident. This step is often overlooked but can be very telling.

For instance, if a daycare center is not forthcoming with information—they do not tell you about what happened, do not provide you with an incident report, complete an incident report with false information, or deny any wrongdoing—you can infer that they are trying to deflect blame and attempting to cover up the wandering incident.

When a daycare center acknowledges its negligence that led to your child’s wandering incident, listens to your concerns, and promptly provides you with a state-mandated incident report, it demonstrates responsible behavior. 

Step 3: Take Action

Lastly, hold the daycare center accountable by contacting our experienced and knowledgeable Texas daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm.

Please recognize that reaching out to our legal team after your child’s wandering incident does not make you greedy or imply that you are going to the extreme. Our work helps identify the safety deficiencies at the daycare center and helps your family get justice for your child’s experience. We understand wandering incidents can be traumatic for a young child: They are alone, in a potentially unfamiliar place, and can find themselves with a stranger.

Taking legal action by filing a daycare injury lawsuit can help protect other local children and their families from going through what you and your child went through.  

Our daycare injury lawyers will listen to you and fight for your family to provide resources, including:

  • Monetary compensation to cover the medical bills for your child’s injuries and pain and suffering from the experience
  • Psychological help to process their experience in a healthy way
  • Any related out-of-pocket expenses paid to assist your child following the wandering incident

Get a free case evaluation for your child’s daycare wandering incident by calling us at 214-699-4409, emailing [email protected], or filling out a contact form.

The Button Law Firm Can Help Your Family with a Daycare Wandering Case

If your child was able to wander away from a classroom or leave a daycare center’s premises unnoticed because caregivers neglected to follow daycare safety laws, contact our knowledgeable daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm. With attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen, fight for your family, and help your family move forward. 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. Call us at 214-699-4409, email us at [email protected], or fill out a contact form to tell us your story.

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.