Sending a child to daycare can be stressful enough for some families, but when the child has a food allergy, that can lead to more anxiety. It’s not uncommon for children to have food allergies—the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports one in 13 children are living with a food allergy. However, it’s critical for daycares and caregivers to be aware of the allergy, and common allergens that can be hidden in food to prevent reactions. If a reaction does happen, it’s critical for daycare workers to know how to recognize the signs and how to react.
How Allergic Reactions Can Happen In Texas Daycares
According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), over 60 percent of allergic reactions in schools happen in daycare and preschool facilities. An allergic reaction happens when a child’s immune system responds to something it mistakenly believes is harmful. Common allergens include:
- Tree nut (for example, almonds, walnut, pecans, cashews, pistachios)
- Fish (for example, bass, flounder, cod)
- Shellfish (for example, crab, shrimp, scallop, clams)
Reactions can range from being minor, such as itchy skin, redness, and hives, to severe, like anaphylaxis, which can be deadly. In daycare and childcare situations, it’s critical for caregivers to be aware of what children are doing and eating in order to prevent an allergic reaction. When caregivers are negligent, it can lead to deadly consequences.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction?
It’s critical to recognize the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction in order to be able to respond appropriately. Signs include:
- Skin: Itching, hives, redness, swelling
- Mouth: Itching, swelling of lips and/or tongue
- Throat: Itching, tightness, closure, hoarseness
- Gut: Vomiting, diarrhea, cramps
- Lung: Shortness of breath, cough, wheeze
- Heart: Weak pulse, dizziness, passing out
Anaphylaxis is a much more serious reaction, and while the signs are the same, anaphylaxis often means a child is experiencing symptoms in more than one area of their body. That could mean they are experiencing shortness of breath, as well as an itchy mouth and swollen tongue. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment, including an injection of epinephrine. Caregivers should also call 9-1-1. Without immediate action, a child with a severe allergy could die.
How Allergic Reactions at Daycare Can Be Prevented – and How Neglect Can Cause Them
Allergic reactions at daycares can be prevented if caregivers take steps to provide reasonable care for all children in the facility. This includes taking steps to avoid allergic reactions and responding promptly to allergic reactions when they occur.
In Texas, the Department of Health and Human Services Minimum Standards for Childcare Centers has a detailed outline regarding care of children with allergies. The minimum care standards require an emergency food plan for each child with a food allergy diagnosed by a physician. The plan must include a list of food the child is allergic to, possible symptoms if exposed, and steps to take if a child has an allergic reaction. The plan must also be posted in the daycare at all times, and the plan and medication must be taken on field trips.
If daycare providers followed the rules in the minimum care standards like they are supposed to, then it would greatly decrease the number of allergic reactions that happen. If daycares fail to meet these standards, and your child was hurt or killed due to an allergic reaction, then that could be the result of daycare negligence.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered After an Allergic Reaction at Daycare?
Depending on the type of allergic reaction, those medical bills can be significant. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention, which could mean a trip to the emergency room. An anaphylactic reaction will also mean more medical treatment in the future, and possibly a change in lifestyle for your child.
According to The Mayo Clinic, once you’ve had an anaphylactic reaction once, your chance of having another one in the future goes up significantly. Additionally, your child will always have to carry an EpiPen with them, which can cost hundreds of dollars and have to be replaced on a regular basis.
Your child deserves a fair recovery for the significant pain and suffering caused by daycare negligence, and your family shouldn’t have to pay for medical bills or bear the burden of your lost income as you care for your child.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Do I Have To File A Lawsuit After an Incident?
In order to make a claim against a daycare, it must be done with the state’s statute of limitations, which means there is a certain time a lawsuit must be filed in. The laws regarding statute of limitations are specific to each state, and there can also be differences depending on the type of claim and who is pursuing it. For most negligence claims in Texas, the suit must be filed within two years of the incident. It’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Why Should I Work With The Button Law Firm?
Daycare injuries and possible cases of neglect are complicated and require a lot of attention to detail. Your lawyer should be someone who has experience holding daycares and caregivers accountable for their actions. If our team takes on your case, it’s because we truly believe we can help you and your family move forward, and you can be confident your case will get the attention to detail it truly deserves.
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How Can I Contact The Button Law Firm?
It’s very easy to get in touch with us. You can reach our team at 214-699-4409 or send us an email at [email protected]. You can also head to our website to fill out the contact form. While you’re there, you can download our guides to help with finding a safe daycare, as well as more information about what to do after a daycare injury.