You may be like millions of working parents, and rely on daycare centers or preschools to care for your children while you are at work. This means entrusting strangers to provide a high quality level of care to some of the most important people in your life, your children. Daycare centers have an obligation to meet the basic needs of children, as well as to provide a safe environment for them. Tragically, many daycare centers fall far short – it’s been estimated that 30,000 kids per year are treated in emergency rooms because of injuries they received at a daycare facility or while in the care of a babysitter.

Most likely, you spent a great deal of time investigating the daycare center you chose before placing your children there. After you have spent a lot of time and chosen to put your faith in a daycare provider, it can be devastating to learn that your child has been harmed because of the daycare provider’s negligence. In some cases, it can be tough to know if your child has been harmed, particularly if the child is too young to tell you.

Some signs of physical abuse or emotional neglect include fear around adults, withdrawal, burn marks, cuts or bruises, vacant stares, confusing explanations of pain, and anxiety when other kids cry. Some signs of sexual abuse include stained or torn underwear, discharge, reenactment of abuse, excessive bathing, difficulty walking or sitting, bruises or bleeding on the genitals, and repetitive actions like sucking or rocking.

Fortunately, the majority of daycare centers are responsible and are operated by caring individuals. Some experts have estimated that about three percent of child abuse cases occur in daycares. Federal and state guidelines provide standards that must be met, which can help to ensure that daycare facilities are properly run.

If you are considering a daycare for your child, there are steps you can take to choose a good one. First, look for one with a good reputation. Ask other parents for recommendations. You should ask to see the center’s license and credentials, and double check with a call to your social services department. You should visit the daycare at a time when they aren’t expecting you. The center should be clean and sanitary, and there should be plenty of space. Medicines should be kept out of reach. Smoke detectors should be working. The facility should have an outdoor play area. Some signs of a bad daycare center include a bad reputation, loose rules, insufficient number of staff, dirty facilities, and an expired license.

If your child was hurt at a daycare center, you may have a legal right to compensation for your child’s injuries. However, a daycare center is not the absolute insurer of a child’s safety. It does owe the children a high degree of care. If a child fell, or hit another child, during normal play, the daycare center isn’t necessarily liable. If the accident did occur because of improper supervision (which is the biggest cause of daycare accidents), abusive staff, dangerous conditions at the facility, or another reason, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the daycare center.

At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that any daycare center that is negligent, or intentionally abusive, should be held legally accountable if a child is harmed. If your child has been improperly treated in a daycare facility or preschool in the San Francisco area, including Oakland, Hayward, Tracy, Fairfield, Berkeley, or the surrounding areas, call Micha Star Liberty, Oakland personal injury attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She will work hard on your behalf to insure that the daycare center is made to pay for its negligence. Call to learn more.

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