Putting Your Trust In Others Is Not Easy
We all know that putting your trust in others is not easy. However, for many of us, it is necessary because of work. For others, it is the fact they are single parents that work. You shouldn't leave a young child at home, but what are your options. This is where daycare has become essential in our lives. We have a passion for daycare injuries cases because of the companies that consistently neglect their obligations to keep our kids safe.
All parents trust that anyone they leave their kid with is going to provide a safe environment and hire qualified employees to watch over their kids. Unfortunately, there are several daycare facilities that do not supervise the kids or their employees. This results in serious injuries to kids, even death.
What Can Happen When Daycare Facilities Do Not Provide Adequate Supervision?
Many serious injuries can happen when kids are left alone for long periods of time. We have seen serious burns when near kitchen equipment that was not blocked off. We have seen broken bones and surgeries to fix them as a result of the playing area being inadequate for that age range of kid or rough housing not being stopped in time. Brain injuries are a frequent result of kids jumping from playgrounds not properly secured off or hard objects being thrown at other kids. We also see brain damage and even deaths as a result of suffocating from objects that choke or prevent airflow to the kids.
It is not just watching the kids, but the supervision of the age levels and types of toys those kids are playing with. For example, the toys provided need to match the age group of kids. You do not need to give a metal baseball bat to a group of 4-7 year olds. One hit upside the head of an unsuspecting kid on the playground will leave them brain damaged for the rest of their life.
One of the most prevalent injuries that we see on the news but rarely gets discussed by parents is sexual abuse. The employees that have a history of sexual abuse involving minors or sexual abuse at all being hired at a daycare facility is a red flag.
Supervision Of The Hiring Process
Proper supervision starts at the hiring process. Does the daycare facility have a team of caring and trained employees that are all about kids OR is it a team of underpaid, unqualified temporary workers that just need a job? The employees that are hired at a daycare facility must be screened and receive a background check. Is the daycare you are looking at sending your kids to doing that?
As mentioned above, daycare facilities must check to see whether a particular applicant is a prior offender of any sex crimes, abuse crimes, violent crimes, any crimes at all. They need to check to see if a potential applicant has a history of violent outbursts or prior complaints that would indicate any violence or abuse to a minor. It can even involve a history of abuse to animals. You want to ensure that each applicant is thoroughly investigated prior to being hired.
In Texas, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services provides information about how employees at daycare facilities are screened. Parents can look at this and make a list of questions to ask a prospective facility. Note: if you ever notice a red flag, please report it so that the governmental authorities can make a note of it and others can find this information out prior to sending their kids there.
Supervision Of Incidents At A Facility
You need to know how the facility handles incidents that happen. Do they report them to the state agencies? Do they keep an internal file with them? How are they investigated? How are they handled? Do they re-train their employees? Are there any zero tolerance violations? How many violations have they had? How many have resulted in injuries to kids?
These are the questions that parents ask me when I am looking at a case. These are the questions we search to find answers to. However, they need to be the questions the facility is keeping answers to. Many daycare facilities don't track these things and many parents never think to ask or look into.
Supervision Of Equipment Maintenance
When a daycare facility is providing a playground or play area of any type, you want to make sure that they are properly maintaining the equipment. For example, if a cover on a screw head has come off, a kid that falls on that can have a serious injury. That injury could have been prevented had the screw head had a plastic cover on it.
Are the bolts that are holding the slide up tight and solid? If not, any kid can be on that slide when it breaks and collapses. Is that the fault of a kid for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or the daycare facility for inadequately maintaining their own equipment? You decide.
How Frequent Is Daycare Abuse?
The United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 5,321 daycare providers were perpetrators of abuse or neglect. There are many safe and responsible facilities around the United States, but there are still many bad apples out there hurting kids on a daily basis.
What Can Be Done About It?
If you see abuse or neglect, report it to the state agencies. If you need to know where to turn on how to report it, reach out to us. We will assist you in making the reports.
More importantly, if your kid has been abused, neglected, or injured at a daycare facility and you suspect any wrongdoing, do not let it slide. You must hold them accountable for their action or inaction. Too often folks give them a pass. We all know what happens when conduct is rewarded... It is repeated.
A lawsuit is not always the right answer. You can ask numerous clients I have told that a lawsuit is not the right answer to this issue. However, I am a firm believer in accountability and bringing awareness to a problem that is a safety hazard. I want to help you join in the fight to make daycare facilities safe and trusted again. We want to make it right for what happened to your little one, but also to prevent it from happening again to someone else because next time the injury may be worse.
Whether in Dallas, Houston, Midland, or any surrounding counties, give us a call. We work all over Texas taking on daycare facilities that have hurt my clients' kids. Together we can make a difference.