Day care and child care facilities can be held liable for injuries that occur on their watch as a result of inadequate supervision, dangerous conditions, defective equipment, and other unsafe situations.
All too often, children come home from day care with bite marks, scrapes, abrasions and other telltale signs of injury while under the care of their teachers and caretakers. These minor injuries are often the early signs of a poorly managed operation. When a child is rushed to a hospital because an inattentive teacher allows a misbehaving child to slam a baseball bat into another child’s head, then it becomes a much more serious problem.
The biggest single problem at child care facilities relates to staffing:
- Poorly trained staff
- Poorly managed staff
- Distracted staff
Our experience reveals that many child care facilities have a high turnover of staff. They have difficulty retaining and maintaining skilled staff. They often have an inadequate number of teachers and supervisors for the children under their care. Those they employ are frequently inadequately trained or retrained.
Many staff members are young and immature, and they are not well-managed. Managers often double as owners, and many day care owners do not work on the premises. We have also found that many facility workers are frequently distracted by other activities, such as making phone calls.
If a day care worker was negligent in the care and supervision of your child which led to an injury of your child, your child may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. At the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick, we have handled a wide variety of child-related injury cases.
Another common injury arising from day care facilities involves children getting hurt after running into objects, tripping over objects or falling from playground equipment. But when a child falls down, it is different than a slip-and-fall case that an adult might experience. In the case of a child, an adult’s watchful eyes were supposed to have been guarding over his or her safety – and the negligence is based on the adult’s failure to exercise due care in the circumstances.
Therefore, when we investigate such cases involving a day care center, we probe the question of which adults were responsible for preventing the child at the precise moment that he diverted into the object that he fell from, or at the exact second that he lost his grip on the playground equipment.
Wherever the negligence can be traced, the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick will identify it, and press the claim in order to protect your child’s rights and recover the damages which your child deserves to compensate your child for the injuries sustained.
Day care facilities are also notorious for being breeding grounds for childhood diseases. Of course, we expect children to pick up the sniffles from time to time; nobody can stop kids from catching a cold. But it’s quite a different story if your child comes home from day care with a complex infection or an infectious skin disease or food poisoning.
If a day care facility is contaminated by unsanitary conditions, it may not only be a public health threat, but you may have a basis for a legal claim for damages.
Although it is not common, we also occasionally receive reports of day care facilities in which children have been victimized by physical or sexual assaults. These cases often lead to both criminal charges and civil claims for damages. In the civil claims, our law firm can assist the families in re-grouping, paying bills for psychological therapy, and personal and social re-adjustment.
At the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick, we follow a 10-point checklist in scrutinizing every day care facility:
- Do they have a comprehensive set of safety standards (physical design, furniture, shelving, equipment, toys, behavior of children, demeanor of employees, interaction of children, procedures for admitting visitors to premises, etc.). Do they adhere strictly to these standards?
- Do they have an adequate supply of clean water?
- Do they have an adequate supply of healthy food (and do they maintain a strict policy of replacing perishable foods).
- Do they have adequate and clean bathroom facilities?
- Do they have accurate and updated contact information for both parents of each child (or at least two adults)?
- Do they have a fully stocked First Aid closet, and is there somebody always available who is trained in emergency procedures?
- Do they have an emergency protocol in place should a child need medical/hospital care?
- Do they maintain adequate staff, sufficiently trained, for the number of children attending the facility? Does the staff-to-child ratio satisfy state or local regulatory requirements?
- Do they have physical barriers and other safety measures in place to prevent children from “walking off” or wandering away?
- Do they have security devices in place to prevent outsiders from “walking on” or entering upon the facility without authorization?
If your child has been injured or fallen ill while under the care or supervision of a day care facility, please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick with any questions you may have.