Texas Child Burn Injury Attorneys
Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children under 14, and burns are one of the most common causes. According to Johns Hopkins University, toddlers and children are more often burned by scalding or flames, and nearly 75% of all scalding burns in children are preventable.
When parents send their children to daycare, they deserve to feel like they are sending their kids to a safe place where they are being watched over and protected from harm. Unfortunately, as our Texas daycare injury lawyer explains, many burns a child may suffer are the result of abuse and neglect.
If your child was harmed while at daycare, we may be able to help. Our team at The Button Law Firm is experienced in advocating for families of children who were burned and holding daycares accountable.
How Child Burns Happen
There are a variety of burn injuries that can happen at daycare, and they often happen because of a lack of supervision or proper policies and procedures. For example, bottle warmer burns can happen when
- An unsupervised child pulls a loose cord on the bottle warmer, causing boiling water to spill on them
- An improperly stored bottle warmer tips over because it is not safely secured
- A bottle warmer is unsafely left on a surface within reach of a child, and it is knocked over
Burns also happen due to a lack of supervision around something hot, like
- Open flame
- Hot beverage
- Boiling water
- Hot pain
- Other hot surfaces or objects
Improperly maintained daycare spaces can also cause child burns, some severe. Kids can be burned when they
- Put a finger, tongue, or another body part into an uncovered outlet
- Touch a broken electrical cord
- Exposure to strong acids, like bleach or other cleaners
If your child comes into contact with any of these surfaces or objects, they can be burned severely, sometimes to the point where they require months of treatment.
What are the Different Kinds of Burns Kids are at Risk of?
There are a variety of different types of burns, and kids can also be burned to different degrees, depending on what they touched or were exposed to. Without proper training, supervision, policies, and procedures, daycare children may suffer from:
- Thermal burns. Thermal burns are what many of us traditionally think of like a burn injury. These types of burns happen when the skin comes into contact with something hot, such as steam, open flames, fires, a hot beverage, boiling water, a stove, a hot pan, a heater, an iron, or another hot surface or object. According to Johns Hopkins University, hot tap water burns cause more deaths and hospitalizations than burns from other hot liquids.
- Electrical burns. Electrical burns can happen when a child puts a finger, tongue, or another body part into an electrical outlet or comes into contact with a broken electrical cord.
- Radiation burns. Daycare kids should play outside often. However, the sun over Texas can be extremely powerful and cause severe sunburn if daycare staff do not keep the children in the shade or apply and reapply sunscreen. Babies, toddlers, and preschool children are too young to know to seek shade or to apply their own sunscreen. They just want to play on the playground.
- Chemical burns. Strong acids, including bleach, other cleaners, and battery fluid, can cause chemical burns. Daycares have a responsibility to keep their items away from children to prevent chemical burn injuries.
In addition to different types of burns, kids can also be burned to different degrees.
If your child has been burned, a doctor will classify it as one of the following:
- First-degree burn. Symptoms of first-degree burns include redness and pain. They are the mildest form of burns and only affect the top layer of skin.
- Second-degree burn. Second-degree burns affect the top layer of skin and at least part of the layer below that. Symptoms include redness, blistering, swelling, and pain. The skin may open.
- Third- and fourth-degree burns. These most serious types of burns can affect all layers of the skin and the nerves. Instead of appearing red, the skin may appear white, brown, or charred. These burns can be fatal.
Treatment will depend on the size, location, and the severity of the burn. Some babies and young children may require hospitalization, skin graft surgeries, antibiotics, and pain medication. Even with treatment, burns can result in permanent disfigurement and infections or cause a child’s death.
How We Can Help if Your Child was Burned at Daycare
If your child was burned at daycare, we may be able to help. Depending on the size and severity of the burn, as well as the location, your child may face a long road to recovery. You may be eligible for compensation to help cover:
- Medical treatment for the burns
- Psychological treatment for trauma of severe burns
- Future medical treatment for recovery
- Impacts of disability caused by burn
- Impacts of change in appearance caused by burn
How Child Burns Can Be Prevented
Often, these different types of burns happen because daycares are not properly watching children or they are not maintaining their spaces or equipment, creating an environment where kids can be injured. For example, bottle warmer burns happen when the warmers are not properly stored out of reach of children.
To keep children safe around bottle warmers, daycares must:
- Put bottle warmers on a high surface where children can’t reach them or knock them over
- Properly secure them so they do not accidentally tip over
- Hide any loose cords so they are out of reach of children
While bottle warmers should be secured safely, it is also important for daycares to have the right number of providers to take care of children so they can be properly supervised. Having a safe ratio of caregivers to children ensures kids can be watched carefully and in turn prevent burns that may happen if kids get into an area they’re not supposed to, like the kitchen or a storage closet.
Every state provides a set of minimum standards and laws for childcare facilities to follow. These child safety laws ensure children are kept safe while at daycare. Texas Childcare Minimum Standards have specific requirements that when followed, should help ensure that children are not subjected to child burn injuries as a result of daycare neglect.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a time limit to file a claim?
As a parent or guardian, in order to make a legal claim against the daycare, you must do it within your state’s statute of limitations. The law surrounding statute of limitations is unique to each state – and dependent on the type of claim and who is pursuing it, can be complex. Texas has a statute of limitations, which means the a lawsuit must be filed within certain amount of time – for most negligence claims, that period is within two years of the incident. It's best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible, so the lawsuit is filed well before the state’s deadline.
Who does The Button Law Firm represent?
We are ready to work with and fight for families of children who have been burned at daycare because of abuse or neglect in Texas. We have offices in Dallas, Houston, and Midland and are ready to take on your case anywhere in the Lone Star State, as well as selectively across the country.
How can you contact us for help?
We have many ways to get into contact with our team. You can contact our team by calling 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form. Someone from our team will be in touch.
Why should you choose the Button Law Firm?
We are dedicated to advocating for children harmed in daycares in Texas. Our team is ready to listen to you, advocate for you and your family, and help you hold negligent and abusive daycares accountable, so you can find closure and move forward with your lives. See what our past clients had to say about working with us to handle their cases.
Was Your Child Burned at a Daycare?
If your child was burned at a daycare, reach out to us at 214-699-4409 or [email protected]. These cases are 100% preventable, and if your child is burned, it’s important to hold the daycare accountable and get justice for your child. That way, we can prevent this from happening to another family.