According to a 2012 NBC report, nearly 11 million children nationwide are enrolled in some kind of daycare program. While no parent wants to believe that his or her child could be injured at daycare, the unfortunate truth is that daycare injuries happen all the time. Daycare injuries arise from many different causes and range in severity from bumps and bruises to lifelong disability.
While some daycare injuries truly are no one’s fault, others can be traced back to negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the daycare provider. In some cases the cause may be clear – for instance in situations involving deliberate physical abuse or obvious violation of safety regulations. In other cases, it is not always easy to determine who was responsible for causing or failing to prevent a child’s injuries.
Common daycare safety hazards
Because children are naturally active and inquisitive, and less able than adults to recognize and avoid potential hazards, daycare providers have an especially high level of responsibility for supervising children and protecting them from potential safety risks. Some of the most common causes of preventable daycare injuries include:
- Inadequate supervision.
- Dangerous toys or playground equipment.
- Falling objects.
- Unstable bookshelves, television stands or other furniture.
- Stair hazards, including faulty railings, unsecured stairways or loose objects on stairs.
- Unsafe storage of cleaning products, medications or other potentially harmful substances.
While this list is nowhere near exhaustive, it provides an illustration of some of the ways that children’s lives and safety may be put at risk when daycare providers fail to live up to their duty to keep children safe.
Steps to take after a Pennsylvania daycare injury
When a child is hurt at a daycare facility in Pennsylvania, and the injury stems from negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the provider, the law provides that the child may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for the medical care and ongoing expenses related to the injury, as well as other damages, such as pain, suffering, and disfigurement.
Parents of children who have been injured at daycare in Pennsylvania are encouraged to contact the proper authorities, including the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, as well as law enforcement where appropriate. In addition, when a child is harmed at daycare, it is always a good idea to seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine how best to protect the child’s legal rights and long-term interests.