Articles Tagged with day care centers

Day-Care-Center-Toy-Blocks-150x150Day care centers should be safe havens for children.  Children, especially toddlers and infants, are curious.  However, they lack safety awareness and the ability at times to voice or signal distress.  It is vital that day care centers remove all hazards away from toddlers and infants. This includes hazards or risks associated with choking.  For instance, a simple cup of coins within reach of a toddler or infant can have disastrous results if the child put a coin in his or her mouth.  Day care center employees should survey all areas of play, instruction, and sleep.  Anything that may present itself as a choking hazard should be removed from the area and be kept outside of the reach and exploration of the children.

The Center for Disease Control lists choking as the fourth leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of five. This is because young children can choke on anything smaller than a D-size battery, which includes food, toys, and miscellaneous household objects. Because of the high risk possessed by choking and choking hazards, day care centers need to take many precautions to ensure the safety of their students, especially toddlers and infants. First, children during breakfast, lunch or snack time should never be left unattended, and the person watching them should encourage thorough chewing and cut up pieces they feel might be too large. Additionally, child care professionals should keep small objects out of reach, as curious children tend to put new things in their mouths; this also means that toys for small children and older kids should be kept in separate places, and toys for the younger children should exclude small or breakable parts. Day care workers should always keep an eye on small children and make sure they aren’t trying to swallow foreign objects. Day care workers are also required to learn CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver in the event of an emergency.

However, if these precautions are not taken, tragedy might strike, like earlier this year, when a 10-month old child choked to death on a pine cone at a North Carolina day care center. In order to prevent a similar misfortune to happen to their child, parents should research a day care center before sending a child there, to make sure that there have not been any problems in the past. A day care should ease a parent’s worries about a child, not make them worse.

Summer-Pool-Time-150x150Summer is filled with fun, games, and outdoor activities.  Children get a break from school and the time to enjoy the outdoors.  While summer can be filled with wonderful activities and fun, it also is filled with risks and dangers.  This is especially true for any and all activities in or near water. Children, especially toddlers and infants, do not understand the risks / dangers associated with swimming pools and other aquatic areas.  While the risks of drowning are well known or should be well known to adults / child care providers, there are still reported drownings of children every year.

For children one to four years old, drowning is statistically the most likely cause of death, but there are ways in which it can be avoided. Unattended bodies of water such as bathtubs, ponds, and pools serve as the biggest threat to your child’s safety. According to KidsHealth.org it takes less than 2 inches of water for a young child to drown, meaning any small bodies of water whether it be in a sink or toilet could pose risks to a child’s safety. Unsupervised access to these bodies of water could quickly lead to a drowning case in which it only takes 90 seconds for your child to potentially pass away. The National Safety Council recommends that parents give their children swim lessons from an early age in order to teach them how to swim and further prevent a possible drowning incident.

From the perspective of a community center or any organization tasked with watching children near bodies of water, supervision is of the utmost importance. Having at least one designated “water watcher” lowers the chances of unexpected drowning instances. In cases pertaining to community pools there may be a lifeguard watching the water but it is always safe to assign at least one additional “water watcher” in order to account for moments in which the lifeguard may not be paying attention OR otherwise occupied with another situation. When a drowning or potential drowning incidnt occurs, there is very little time to react and potentially save a life. Ensure that employees and parents are aware of CPR techniques as this knowledge and skill may be the difference between life and death in these occurrences. Around larger bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and oceans, ensure that all children are fashioned with life jackets, even if they are adequate swimmers. Life jackets could also be used in smaller bodies of water for weaker swimmers. When at these natural bodies of water also be aware of local wildlife and foliage that could potentially cause a drowning incident. Large waves and undertows are also known causes of drowning so be sure to keep children away from these parts of the water. Teaching children to not stand with their back to waves can lower the odds of them being knocked over and into the water. Safety first should be top of mind in any situation where a child is in or near a water area.

https://www.floridachildinjurylawyer.com/files/2017/05/Day-Care-Center-Book-Graphic.001-150x150.jpegIn the State of Florida, parent rely on day care centers to properly care for and supervise their children during time periods in which there are work and personal commitments that require the use of a day care center.  It can be quite disheartening to a parent to work a full day only to pick up a child at a day care center who has been injured, battered, abused, neglected, and / or harmed.  It should be noted that a day care center is not an absolute insurer for the safety of a child.  In other words, a day care center is not automatically liable for damages every single time that a child is injured at a day care center.  In order to establish liability or responsibility on behalf of the day care center, four elements must be established to form the basis of a claim or case against the day care center as follows:

Duty;

Breach of Duty;

Toy-Graphics-from-Free-Pik-copy-150x150In Orange County, Florida and other areas, day care centers are located on or just off of busy streets, highways, and roads. There have been reports across the nation of vehicles crashing into day care centers.  It would seem like a rare and odd incident but cars crashing into buildings housing schools and day care centers happens far too frequently.  Orange County, Florida is taking measures to help support and encourage day care centers to put barriers in place for the protection of the children, staff, and visitors to the day care center.

A new county ordinance has emerged in Orange County, which requires new daycares to be built with protective barriers. This ordinance follows a tragic occurrence two years ago when four-year old Lily Quintus, died after a vehicle crashed into her daycare. One vehicle hit another causing it to spin out of control and land in a daycare center. Thirteen people, including one adult, were taken to local hospitals with their conditions ranging from minor injuries to critical condition. See More Options in Place to Protect Children at Orange County Day Cares.

Now, newer daycares in the area could be mandated to have barriers in place prior to their opening. The barriers can vary from concrete balls to large, decorative pots. In addition to these barriers, some other precautions day care facilities can take are adding fences. Fences can also play a two-fold role by protecting children from unexpected vehicle accidents as well as from local wanderers. Most day care facilities have playgrounds with children running around outside. For day care facilities near main roads, these fences should be durable enough to protect the children if a car were to hit the fence. Day cares can also create their own rules to make sure children do not cross a certain line or area.

Kids Block Spelling Dad As Symbol for Fatherhood And ParentingOne basic duty of every day care center is to supervise the children to make sure that the children do not wander out of the facility and into harm’s way.  The fact is that most day care centers are located on or near a busy road or expressway.   The busy roads are dangerous.  The parking lots are also dangerous to children especially toddlers who have very poor safety awareness.  Keeping a child safe should be a priority for every day care center.  Unfortunately, some day care centers are not so diligent with the supervision of the children.  Doors are left open, facilities are not kept in good repair, and most importantly supervision is lax.  Many day care centers put profits or income over the safety and supervision of the children.  Many hire low paying personnel with little or no training.  Furthermore, many such day care center workers are not motivated to put in a hard day’s work and do as little as possible just to get through the day and to the next paycheck. Of course, there are many hard working child care providers out there who work diligently to keep children safe and well supervised during the day.
When a child wanders out of a day care facility, the consequences can be disastrous and even deadly.  What if a chid wanders away from a day care center?  Can the center be sued?  These are common but excellent questions. There are four basic elements to bring forth a legal case or lawsuit against a day care center.
1. Duty;