When you drop your child off at a day care center, you expect the staff to keep your child safe and healthy until you return. When injuries to children occur in day care centers, these cases must be taken very seriously. A recent case in which two young boys suffered second and third-degree sunburns while on a trip with their day care center in Oklahoma highlights the injury risks children face at negligent day care centers.
The two brothers, ages 5 and 7, went with their day care group to a local splash park and water playground, according to CNN. Although the boys were both relatively fair-skinned, the mother said that the day care staff failed to make sure the boys wore sunscreen, nor did they require the boys keep their shirts on to protect them from the sun’s damaging rays. The boys’ mother told NBC News that she asked the center’s staff if she needed to provide sunscreen for the boys and was told she did not. She was also told the trip was scheduled for the morning, but the children apparently spent the majority of the day in the sun.
Due to the severity of their burns, the boys ended up having to be airlifted to a children’s hospital in Texas renowned for its burn center. Each boy was required to undergo numerous treatments to help ease pain and suffering, as well as repair the damage caused by the burns.
When an individual is injured or killed as a result of another person’s negligence, it is a tragedy few hope to encounter during the course of their lifetime, particularly when the injured party is an innocent child. Injuries to children are almost entirely avoidable, as long as people do not engage in careless or negligent behavior when responsible for children.
Unfortunately, accidents and unintentional injuries can and do occur. In fact, injuries at day care centers are far more common than many people believe.
ACCORDING TO THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)
Unintentional injuries are one of the leading causes of non-fatal and fatal injuries among children between the ages of 1 and 9.
Some of the injuries that have occurred at day care centers include:
- Skinned knees, scrapes, broken bones, head trauma and other non-fatal injuries as a result of a fall.
- Head, brain or spinal cord injuries.
- Drownings or near drownings.
- Physical and emotional injuries sustained as a result of child abuse or molestation.
- Heat injuries suffered after being left in a hot vehicle or left inside without access to air conditioning, ventilation and water.
- Playground injuries.
- Injuries as a result of choking on or ingesting a foreign object.
- Burn injuries caused by exposure to excessive heat, flame, steam or the sun.
- Head trauma as a result of being hit by, colliding with or being crushed by an object.
- Internal injuries caused by ingestion of harmful or toxic chemicals and poisons.
- Motor vehicle accidents and other transportation injuries.
- Substantial brain trauma or death caused by suffocation or strangulation.
- Head trauma, broken bones, neck and back injuries as a result of sports activities.
While some children may suffer unavoidable injuries while at day care, the injuries discussed here are considered to be preventable and avoidable as long as safety precautions are in place. Unintentional injuries and those that have been intentionally inflicted, or which occurred as a result of maltreatment, are an immediate cause for alarm.
Day care owners, managers and staff have a professional responsibility to the clients they serve. When a day care center and its staff have been negligent in caring for children, both the center and its owners may be held legally and financially liable. This is particularly true in cases where a day care fails to:
- Provide adequate supervision and monitoring.
- Maintain the proper adult-to-child ratio.
- Have first aid and emergency medical supplies.
- Maintain sufficient and proper safety standards.
- Have policies in place to prevent physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse.
- Hire skilled and qualified staff.
- Effectively train its employees and staff.
- Remove obvious potential hazards.
- Do what it can to keep the children in its care safe.
If your child has suffered harm while in the care of a day care provider, you owe it to your child to seek justice. Hiring a skilled Indianapolis child injury attorney can significantly improve your ability to gather the evidence necessary to establish that the day care center or its staff acted in a negligent manner. With a lawyer, you gain a powerful advocate in your fight to pursue justice and seek compensation for your child’s medical expenses and other losses associated with the injuries.
- CNN: Boys suffer second degree sunburns at day care, says mom
- NBC News: Oklahoma Brothers Hospitalized With Sunburns After Day Care Trip
- CBS News: Oklahoma boys suffer third-degree sunburns at daycare
- CDC: 10 Leading Causes of Death by Age Group, United States – 2013
- CDC: National Estimates of the 10 Leading Causes of Nonfatal Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments, United States – 2013