Parents entrust daycare centers with the safety of their children. Each day, millions of parents return to daycare centers expecting to pick up a healthy, happy child. The expected and legally required standard of care, however, is not always met.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, our Children’s Injury Law Center of Virginia handles cases that cover a wide range of childhood neglect and abuse. Our daycare injury lawyers are experienced, responsive attorneys committed to helping you achieve justice in the event of daycare negligence.
While police determine whether daycare negligence warrants criminal charges, parents can pursue a civil case against a daycare if they believe abuse or inadequate supervision led to their child’s injury.
Ultimately, courts decide if a daycare took appropriate precautions to avoid injury, or if unforeseeable events played a disproportionate role in the outcome. Medical expenses and a child’s pain and suffering are two primary justifications for compensation.
Daycare facilities retain insurance that may cover some or all medical costs as part of a settlement. We strongly recommend consultation with an attorney prior to accepting any settlement, which may limit the daycare’s liability—and your right to seek further compensation.
A legal review offers peace of mind that you’re obtaining the best possible outcome for your child. If appropriate, it can also begin the process of filing a legal claim against the daycare without delay.
Avoiding Daycare Injuries
The best way to protect your children from daycare injuries and negligence is with a thorough inspection of the daycare site, inside and out. In addition to a comprehensive, upfront evaluation, we recommend periodic inspection to ensure your daycare continues to meet the necessary standards to keep your child safe every day.
We’ve adapted the checklist below based on recommendations from several state governments. Your daycare should meet or exceed these safety and health standards:
Daycare Safety Standards
- Entrances and exits are well maintained and free of clutter (or, in winter, snow and ice)
- Personal items of staff are secured out of reach of children
- Cleaning solutions are out of reach
- All electrical outlets are covered
- Furniture, carpet, and toys are in good condition
- Heavy toys or items are kept on the lowest shelf
- Cords for blinds and curtains are kept out of reach
- Tables and chairs are not stacked while children are present
- Playground area is free of garbage and standing water
- Approved safety gates block stairways and other potentially hazardous areas
- Every room contains a readily available, fully stocked first-aid kit
Daycare Health Standards
- Facility is entirely smoke free
- Staff and children wash hands upon arrival
- Staff performs brief health checks of children and asks for additional information from caregiver
- Bathrooms are clean and well stocked with soap, paper towels, and toilet paper
- Children have their own space, such as a cubby, for personal items
Daycare Safety and Health Standards for Infants
- Bottles are clearly labeled and transferred to a refrigerator immediately
- Cribs do not contain soft bedding, bumper pads, pillows, or stuffed toys
- Cribs have a tight-fitting mattress and secure fitted sheet
- High chairs are clean and in good condition
- Safety restraints are used on infant seats, swings, strollers, and high chairs
What to Do When Your Child Has Been Injured at Daycare
Following a daycare injury, the first step is ensuring medical attention for your child. Obtain copies of all medical records and bills for initial and follow-up visits.
Once your child has received the necessary medical attention, contact one of our daycare injury attorneys as soon as possible. State statutes limit the window during which you may file a legal claim.
Trust the skilled, compassionate daycare negligence attorneys of the Children’s Injury Law Center of Virginia to work on your behalf to find out what happened, who’s responsible, and how to best support your family during a challenging time.