Placing your child in daycare is a difficult decision that many working parents must face. It’s hard enough taking time away from your child, but worrying about their safety adds an extra emotional burden.
In-home childcare is the fastest growing sector in the industry today, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the total child care industry. Despite being at a home, thousands of children are injured, and some killed, in their childcare setting each year.
Of course, the occasional bumps and bruises are inevitable due to falls or incidents that are commonly associated with clumsy toddlers who are learning to crawl, walk or run well. Too often, though, children are injured so seriously that they require treatment from a hospital. Even worse, serious injuries can sometimes be fatal.
Statistics from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control tell us that approximately 4.2 million injuries were recorded for children ages one to four from 2001 to 2002. During that same time period, over 3,000 children in this age group died as a result of injuries sustained while in the care of a child care center or individual. The majority of these deaths were preventable injuries that could have been avoided had the following issues been addressed:
- Workers received proper training and education
- Environmental safety measures were put in place
- Utilization of safer products in the care environment
- Stricter laws to ensure child safety
It is vital that the professionals in this industry improve existing safety hazards that could endanger the life of a child. As parents whose number one concern is our child’s safety, there are safety issues to be aware of as well. Some dangerous issues of note:
- Children left unsupervised – Infants, toddlers, and children of all ages should always be in a caregiver’s sight.
- Dangerous Adult-to-child ratio – There are laws that specify how many children one adult is allowed to supervise at a time. Often, child care centers will be out of ratio, and can lead to many injuries.
- Uneducated or Untrained Staff – One of the most important safety measures that can be addressed is caregiver training and education. Each staff member should be trained in CPR and first aid procedures, as well as proper health and safety policies.
- Medications Administered Improperly – When a caregiver administers medication to your child, it is extremely important that the correct amount of medication is given to avoid poisoning and other unforeseen side-effects.
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – This serious syndrome is increasing at day care centers today. Your infant’s caregiver should know that babies need to sleep on their backs, and on firm bedding that is void of fluffy blankets or toys that can become choking hazards.
- Poisons and Toxic Substances within Reach – Child Care Awarereports that accidental poisonings are the leading cause of injury and death among young children. Cleaning supplies and medicine should be out of reach from children at all times.
- Unsafe Playground Equipment and Recalled Products – Products used by caregivers are often times not tested to ensure child safety. Manufacturers are not required to do this, and children are harmed or even killed as a result. Playground equipment is particularly concerning because it most frequently causes children physical harm.
There are many other safety concerns that caregivers must recognize. These include food safety, child illnesses, emergency planning and practicing, and background checks for employees and the state licensing of the child care home or facility.
As parents, we do the best we can to make sure the environment we place our children in and caregivers we place them with are top notch. Even then, injuries or fatalities occur when caregivers fail to honor procedures and standards they are required by law to follow. If your child becomes seriously injured, or is killed because of negligence on the part of a child care center or an individual you have entrusted your child with, you can receive compensation for your devastating loss. Parker Law Firm provides Complimentary Strategy Sessions that allow the client and firm a chance to fully analyze your particular situation and determine whether you have a case against a negligent caregiver. You can rest assured that Parker Law Firm will fight aggressively against child negligence and those who are responsible for harming your child.