A teddy bear with bandaids symbolizing a child that was injured at a Texas daycareWhat Is a Daycare Injury?

A daycare injury is any harm or trauma caused to a child while under the supervision of a daycare facility. It can be a physical injury such as a cut, a burn, or a broken bone. In some serious cases, children can sustain traumatic brain injuries that are not always visible but can cause serious developmental or mental impairments. Sexual acts of abuse at daycare are also a form of physical injury and can have a lasting impact on children.

A daycare injury can also be mental or emotional, such as psychological or verbal abuse. While these injuries are sometimes harder to notice, a child may present with significant behavioral changes that correlate to the abuse they have faced. These daycare injuries have a permanent effect on children and can lead to many other physical and emotional injuries later on in life.

What Are the Four Most Common Causes of Daycare Injuries?

There are many causes of daycare injuries, but the four most common are poorly maintained playground equipment, non-age-appropriate equipment, lack of supervision, and lack of training for daycare employees. If your child has been injured by one of these issues, it is important to seek medical attention immediately and then take legal action

Let's take a closer look at how these issues can cause your child to be injured while at daycare.

  1. Poorly Maintained Daycare Playground Equipment

Texas daycare facilities should constantly be inspecting and monitoring the state of their playground equipment. When a daycare facility does not properly monitor, inspect, fix, or replace its playground equipment, it's only a matter of time before a child gets injured. Poorly maintained playground equipment may have protruding nails, rusted or missing bolts, or deteriorating wooden features. If these issues are not fixed before children are allowed to use the daycare playground equipment, serious injuries can occur.

Examples of injuries a child may face on poorly maintained playground equipment are:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries from falls
  • Puncture wounds from protruding nails

If your child suffers from an injury on a poorly maintained daycare playground, the daycare may be held negligent for not maintaining proper inspections or repairs on the equipment. 

  1. Unsafe Playground Equipment For A Child's Age

Another aspect of daycare safety that is often overlooked is ensuring the playground equipment is suitable for the child's age. Younger children require constant supervision when using equipment like slides, monkey bars, or objects they can climb. When children are allowed to play on equipment unsuitable for their age, they can fall or become entangled in the equipment, leading to serious injuries.  

  1. Children Are Unsupervised at Daycare

Additionally, injuries can commonly be caused by a lack of supervision at daycare facilities. While at daycare, children should never be left unsupervised. Daycares should always implement proper child-to-caregiver ratios to ensure that each child can be closely monitored and protected from potential injuries. 

When there is a teacher monitoring, but they have too many kids in their group, the daycare's ratio is over the allowable limit. Texas has outlined specific requirements that serve as maximums for the number of children being watched by caregivers at daycare facilities. The ratios are outlined and proportioned by age. This emphasizes that younger kids need more attention and supervision, so, there is a smaller ratio for 4-year-olds than there is for 10-year-olds.

Daycare facilities for children with special needs must also account for the proper ratio. Again, this is dependent on the age and type of special need. Daycare facilities should be very strict about the ratios being a maximum number, not a suggestion.

When children at daycare are not properly supervised, they may experience the following:

  • Choking: a child may choke on food or a small part of a toy that is not age-appropriate
  • Wandering: an unsupervised child may wander out of the classroom and leave the daycare's premises, which puts them at risk of getting hit by a car or being kidnapped
  • Burns: a child may experience chemical burns or bottle warmer burns from being left unsupervised around dangling cords
  • Falls: a child may fall from a high surface such as a changing table or high chair
  • Crush injuries: a child may be crushed by furniture if they pull on a heavy piece that is not properly anchored to the daycare wall
  • Heatstroke or hypothermia: a child can face severe temperature-related injuries when left unsupervised outside on an extremely hot or cold day

These instances can lead to a wide variety of injuries, which is why it is important that daycare facilities maintain constant supervision of your child. 

  1. Unqualified Daycare Employees

Lastly, untrained or unqualified daycare employees can commonly cause daycare injuries.

One example of an unqualified daycare employee is an abuser or sex offender who has not been registered. This is an obvious violation of daycare standards, and these people should not be in close contact or caring for children. 

Even if the employee doesn't have crimes or charges on their record, the daycare facility must take every complaint and investigate. If there is not an extensive investigation into these claims, this could lead to potential sexual abuse injuries for your child at daycare. 

Another example of an unqualified daycare employee is someone who is untrained in handling medical emergencies. Caregivers should be up to date on their CPR certifications and should know the proper steps to take after a child is injured at daycare. Without the proper training, an injury or allergic reaction may go untreated, which can increase the severity and lasting impacts of the situation. 

You want a daycare employee to be someone that you would welcome into your own home. For example, you want someone who loves kids, is patient, is not violent, and is good at resolving disputes. Preferably, a daycare facility should try to hire caregivers who have experience in the childcare industry. 

What Do You Do If Your Child Is Injured at a Texas Daycare?

If you become aware of an injury involving your child at daycare, make sure to seek immediate medical treatment. After that, you should file a report with the daycare facility. Depending on what happened and how the daycare facility responds to your complaint, you may need to involve the police.

To learn more about the exact steps you should take after your child is injured at daycare, download our FREE guide for parents: 5 Steps to Take After a Daycare Injury.

Take Legal Action After Your Child Was Injured at Daycare by Contacting The Button Law Firm

Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for you and your family if your child was seriously hurt while in the care of a negligent daycare center. 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. Get a free consultation by calling 214-699-4409, emailing us at [email protected], or completing a contact form.

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