Oakland Daycare & Preschool Injury
There are about 21 million children under the age of five in the United States. Some couples are able to have one parent stay at home with young children until they enter school, or they may rely on the help of relatives. However, many families rely on daycare centers or preschools to care for their children while they are working. This can be scary for many parents – entrusting strangers to give their children a high quality level of care.
Fortunately, most daycare centers are responsible, well managed, and have caring individuals in charge who want to provide a high quality of care for the children they watch. However, some fall short, which can result in injuries or even abuse to the children under their care. Some estimates are that 30,000 children a year are treated in emergency rooms because of injuries received at a daycare center or while under a babysitter’s care.
Discovering Your Child Has Been Mistreated, Neglected, or Abused
One unfortunate aspect to daycare center neglect or abuse is that the children who are mistreated are often too young to tell their parents about what has occurred. Many centers choose not to tell parents about accidents, fearing legal liability or that the parent will remove the child from the center. It can be hard for parents to know what exactly has happened to a child if the child is too young to complain. It can also be devastating for parents who have entrusted a particular daycare provider to discover that their child has been mistreated.
Signs of Daycare Abuse
If you suspect your child has been hurt at a daycare facility, there are some signs to look for. If you believe your child has been physically or emotionally abused or neglected at a daycare facility, examine the child for cuts and bruises, fear about going to the daycare center, personality changes, withdrawal, unexplained pain, and anxiety when hearing other children cry. Ask the daycare center for a possible explanation – it’s normal for a child to fall down on the playground and suffer a scrape, and the childcare provider could have forgotten to tell you. However, don’t take all explanations at their face value if they don’t make sense. In addition to looking for signs of physical abuse, you should also be aware of the signs of sexual abuse, which include stained underwear, trouble walking or sitting, bruises or bleeding in the genital area, and repetitive rocking or sucking.
Choosing the Right Daycare Center
There are some signs parents can look for before choosing a daycare center to ensure they are choosing a high quality center. One of the best indications of a good daycare is glowing recommendations from other parents. The center should welcome unscheduled visits, and should be clean and sanitary. There should be plenty of space, as accidents can occur in cramped spaces. The facility should have a place to play outside, and should maintain a license. If you see a low number of staff, a dirty facility, or an expired license, those could be signs of a low quality daycare center.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney If Your Child Was Hurt at Daycare
If your child was hurt at a daycare center or a preschool, you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s injuries. A daycare center owes the children it cares for a high duty of care. If it fails to provide the children with a high duty of care, and a child is injured as a result, the daycare center or preschool could be held liable. Daycare centers aren’t liable for all accidents that occur though. If a child suffered a normal accident, such as a fall, and broke a bone, the daycare center isn’t necessarily responsible. However, if the fall happened because a teacher chose to negligently leave the children unsupervised, or because a spill was left lying on the floor for hours, the center could be held liable.
If your child was harmed by the negligence, or the intentional actions, of a daycare center or preschool in the Oakland-San Francisco area, call Micha Star Liberty of Liberty Law at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She works with clients throughout the Bay area, including Tracy, Hayward, Fairfield, Berkeley, and the surrounding counties. Call her today to schedule a consultation.