Many parents have no choice but to entrust a daycare provider with their children. In choosing a daycare center, parents always aim to choose the safest, most nurturing environment for their little ones. To that end, it’s important to know the potential risks and hazards to look out for when selecting one, including the unfortunate possibility of injuries caused by the negligence of daycare workers. At The Button Law Firm, we see clients who have gone through the harrowing experience of a daycare injury, and some trends have emerged over our years of experience helping families move forward after these traumatic incidents.
The three most common types of daycare injuries we hear about when parents come to us to pursue their legal options are:
- Burns, including scalds, electrical, and chemical burns
- Brain injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), and
- Broken bones and other physical injuries
There are Many Ways for Children to Suffer Burns at Daycare
Burns are one of the most common injuries we see at daycare, possibly because there are so many potential causes of burns lurking all over the standard daycare center. Burns can be caused by hot liquids and solids, but also chemicals and electricity.
Many daycares keep bottle warmers for the youngest children in their care who may still be drinking breast milk or formula. Unfortunately, this necessity for many daycare centers also creates a hazard, as bottle warmers are often full of very hot water, which can lead to a scalding injury. If children are not properly supervised around bottle warmers, they can accidentally tip them over or pull them off counters, spilling hot water and causing a scald.
Other hazards that can cause burns while at daycare include:
- Steam from appliances or cooking activities
- Open flames from matches or lighters
- Hot appliances like curling irons, hot glue guns, and irons
- Uncovered electrical outlets or improperly maintained electrical appliances can cause electrical burns
- Chemicals like bleach and other cleaners can cause chemical burns
Brain Injuries are All Too Common at Daycare Centers in Texas
The second common injury we see children suffer at Texas daycares are brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control, children have the highest rate of emergency room visits for TBI of all age groups. Brain injuries can be caused by many different mechanisms. Some of the most common ways children suffer brain injuries are:
- Falls. The CDC states that more than 70% of brain injuries in children 0-4 years old are from falls. While in daycare, children can fall from improperly maintained playground equipment, inappropriately high loft spaces, or improperly maintained flooring that children may slip or trip on. We have also seen instances where infants are left unsupervised on changing tables and fall from the high surface.
- Sports and recreation. Kids love to play sports and run around on a playground. However, with insufficient supervision, playtime can be hazardous. According to the CDC, the rate of emergency department visits for playground-related brain injuries has seen significant increases over the years.
- Assault and violence. The most regrettable and upsetting potential source for brain injury in daycare is physical infliction from daycare workers. Physical discipline and physical abuse of children is inexcusable, and this is worsened when it results in a serious brain injury. Additionally, shaken baby syndrome is a form of traumatic brain injury that can happen in the daycare setting when very young children are mistreated by daycare workers.
Broken Bones and Other Physical Injuries at Daycare Centers in Texas
The third type of common daycare injury we see are physical injuries that result from some kind of blunt force trauma, like broken bones, crushed fingers, and fall injuries. Children are small and still haven’t completely developed their motor skills, plus their bones are still developing. These factors make them more vulnerable to physical injuries from blunt force trauma. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, broken bones are the fourth most common injury under the age of 6.
Physical injuries can be caused by many of the same things as TBI, including falls, recreation-related injuries, and physical abuse. When it comes to physical discipline tactics, caregivers are not permitted under Health and Human Services regulations to spank or hit a child with a hand or any instrument. If your child has experienced a severe physical injury caused by blunt force trauma, including a broken bone, it’s very important to rule out the possibility that the daycare may be using inappropriate and illegal disciplinary tactics on your child.
How Can I Move Forward After My Child Suffers a Daycare Injury at a Texas Daycare?
Our experienced and compassionate daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm can help you understand the full range of options you and your family can pursue if your child suffers from a daycare burn, brain injury, or broken bone. 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 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.