Child holding teddy bear after being harmed at daycare.Daycare Sexual Assault Issues in Texas

With approximately 62% of Texas moms in the paid labor force, and 59% of Texas children in families with two working parents, daycare is necessary to watch little ones while parents are at work. Parents have the right to feel like they can trust the daycare to keep their children safe.

Unfortunately, our Dallas injury lawyer says, sometimes children can experience sexual abuse at daycare facilities that can have long-lasting trauma.

The nonprofit Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates as many as 60,000 children are victims of sexual abuse every year. That is why we provide daycare safety resources for parents so they can protect their children as much as possible when in the care of Texas childcare facilities.

In this article, we are shedding light on horrific incidents like sexual abuse in daycares—how it happens, what signs to look for, and what to do if you suspect your child has been abused or molested while at a Texas daycare.

How Sexual Abuse Can Happen in Texas Daycare Centers

Sexual abuse within daycare settings can manifest through the actions of a staff member or even other children within the facility. Contrary to common belief, such abuse isn't confined to situations where the perpetrator and victim are isolated. Instances can occur even in the presence of other children or caregivers.

Predators often employ grooming tactics, investing time and effort to establish trust with the child. This can lead the child to feel complicit in the abuse, fostering a reluctance to disclose the experience out of fear of repercussions. While many parents prioritize concerns about stranger danger, the reality is that sexual abuse frequently transpires at the hands of individuals known and trusted by the child or the parent.

How Texas Daycares Can Prevent Sexual Abuse Incidents  

In Texas, parents invest significantly in childcare, expecting daycare facilities to provide a secure environment for their children. Yet, preventable tragedies, such as instances of sexual abuse, underscore the critical importance of stringent adherence to the state's minimum care guidelines. By taking proactive steps, Texas daycare owners and directors can significantly enhance the safety of their facilities:

  1. Thorough Background Checks: Conducting comprehensive background screenings and vetting procedures for all prospective employees to ensure their suitability for working with children.

  2. Supervision Protocols: Implementing robust monitoring systems to ensure diligent supervision of both staff members and children, thereby minimizing opportunities for misconduct and enhancing child safety.

Our team of Texas daycare injury lawyers is committed to supporting parents like you in navigating the complex landscape of childcare safety. To empower parents with the necessary tools and knowledge, we've developed a comprehensive guide called 10 Tips for Finding a Safe Daycare, linked here.

The Most Common Signs of Sexual Abuse in Texas Daycares

The potential signs of child sexual abuse in daycare are not always obvious, but parents may notice the following physical and behavioral changes in their children that raise concerns:  

Physical signs

  • Infections or soreness around the genital area—including urinary tract infections, yeast infections, or signs of a sexually transmitted disease
  • Bleeding, bruising, and swelling around the genital area
  • Bloody, torn, or stained clothing
  • Difficulty walking or sitting

Behavioral Signs

  • Unusual interest in sexual matters. Often children who have experienced sexual abuse will start to act out inappropriate sexual behavior. Some children might have knowledge about sexual matters well beyond what they should know at a certain age.
  • Anxiety or fear about daycare. A child who is being sexually abused at daycare might fake an illness to get out of going or express anxiety or fear about being dropped off at daycare. If this seems to be a recurring pattern, it could mean abuse has occurred.
  • Sudden changes in behavior. Young children in particular, often start to act out when they are experiencing abuse. If your normally even-tempered child suddenly starts to show aggressive behavior, this could mean there is daycare abuse. Some children will regress instead; for example, a child who is potty trained might suddenly start wetting or soiling their pants. Children who are abused may also exhibit symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Recurring nightmares. When your child suddenly starts having bad dreams or difficulty sleeping, this might mean something is happening at daycare.

Some of these behaviors may seem common for children, but parents have a good sense of what's typical for their own kids.

Important Steps to Take If Your Child Was Sexually Abused at Daycare

If you believe your child has been abused, talk to your child and follow these key steps:

  1. Seek medical attention
  2. Report it immediately to the police
  3. File a report online or by phone with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
  4. Contact the compassionate and knowledgeable daycare abuse attorneys at The Button Law Firm  
Russell Button
Connect with me
Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.