Though rare, daycare injuries unfortunately do happen. According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s latest daycare safety report, 418 out of 835—or 50%—of the serious injuries sustained at Texas daycare centers in 2022 were caused by some kind of indoor or outdoor equipment or structure. This statistic includes injuries from unsecured or improperly installed furniture, which can tip over onto children, causing serious injuries.
According to a report from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2019 and 2021, an estimated annual average of 19,400 emergency room visits were caused by furniture tip-overs. Many kinds of furniture, including tables, chests and dressers, shelving and bookcases, and television sets, can tip over and result in significant distress. Of the injuries from tip-overs, children under age 18 were disproportionately represented: The report found children made up 46% of the emergency room visits and a staggering 81% of furniture tip-over deaths, despite kids making up 22% of the overall population.
These statistics fall in line with children being especially vulnerable to unsecured furniture injuries because they tend to lack the coordination, strength, and reflexes to protect themselves from falling furniture. Their bodies are also much smaller than large, heavy pieces of furniture that require wall anchors or other restraints, resulting in injuries being proportionately more severe and dangerous than for older teens and adults. All of this means it’s critical for daycare centers to follow the safety standards that help prevent these kinds of injuries.
Texas Daycare Standards for Indoor Furniture
The Health and Human Services Commission publishes an extensive handbook detailing minimum safety standards for licensed Texas daycare centers. This 300-page manual includes several standards relating to the security of furniture and other equipment within a daycare facility. Some of these standards include:
- A requirement that all televisions are anchored to prevent tip-over. This requirement allows televisions to be anchored to a rolling cart, but specifies that it must be anchored such that the rolling cart cannot tip over.
- A requirement that all manufacturer-required safety straps be fastened when children are using chairs with safety straps.
- A requirement that all play equipment be securely anchored according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- A requirement that all stairs and steps, both on climbing equipment and indoor lofts, have handrails that the children can reach.
- A requirement that cribs are properly installed, have secured supports, and have no loose hardware.
When daycare centers in Texas neglect to follow the state’s safety standards, preventable furniture tipping and falling incidents can seriously hurt little ones.
Legal Options After an Unsecured Furniture Injury at a Texas Daycare
Unsecured furniture injuries can lead to significant medical bills, especially when a visit to an emergency room is necessary. In our experience as Texas daycare injury lawyers, we have seen first-hand how children can suffer the following internal injuries caused by heavy furniture falling on them:
- Broken bones
- Crushed fingers
- Internal bleeding
- Lacerations from falling glass or sharp edges
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Sometimes, these furniture injuries can also require ongoing, possibly even lifelong, treatment and attention.
Medical bills are just one aspect of a daycare unsecured furniture injury. You may have lost time at work to care for your child after the injury, and the emotional anguish that accompanies an injury like this cannot be overstated. These noneconomic damages are all losses you may experience after your child sustains an injury from unsecured furniture while in daycare. You deserve to know what your options are for being made whole and seeking justice by filing a claim to hold the daycare center accountable.
In Texas, you have a time limit of two years from the date of the tipped or falling furniture incident to file a claim against the daycare center. If your child was hurt because a daycare center failed to secure a piece of furniture, call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation. Our Texas daycare injury lawyers will listen and determine the best way to help you and your family.
What Should I Do After an Unsecured Furniture Injury at My Child’s Daycare?
Our experienced daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm can help you understand the full range of options you and your family can pursue in the aftermath of an unsecured furniture injury. 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.