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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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    Child Injuries at Daycare: What Parents Need to Know

    As parents, we entrust daycare providers with the safety and well-being of our precious children. We expect these facilities to provide a secure environment where our children can learn, play, and grow. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and children can get injured at daycare.

    Common Types of Injuries at Daycare

    Children are naturally curious and active, which can sometimes lead to accidents. Some of the most common injuries at daycare centers include:

    1. Falls: These are pretty common, especially during playtime. A child might fall while playing on an outdoor playground, leading to a broken arm or a severe sprain. Falls can also occur indoors due to tripping over toys or other objects.
    2. Scrapes, Cuts, and Bruises: Minor injuries like these can occur during everyday activities and play. They can happen due to a fall, a collision with another child or object, or while using toys or equipment.
    3. Bites: These can occur during conflicts between children. Daycare providers should be vigilant in preventing and managing such incidents.
    4. Head Injuries: These can range from minor bumps to severe traumatic brain injuries. They can occur due to falls, collisions, or being struck by an object. These require the most surveillance and observation once it is known that a head injury has been sustained.
    5. Broken Bones or Dislocated Joints: These serious injuries can occur due to falls from a height, rough play, or accidents involving playground equipment.
    6. Choking: This can happen if a child swallows a small toy or other object. Daycare centers should ensure that age-appropriate toys and materials do not pose a choking hazard.
    7. Poisoning: This can occur if a child ingests cleaning supplies or other harmful substances. All such materials should be securely stored out of children’s reach.
    8. Burns: These can occur if a child comes into contact with hot surfaces or substances. Daycare providers should ensure hot items, like heaters or hot drinks, are kept out of children’s reach.

    Daycare providers are responsible for supervising children closely, maintaining a safe environment, and taking precautions to prevent these injuries.

    Legal Responsibilities of Daycare Providers

    In Florida, daycare providers must ensure the safety and well-being of the children under their care. This responsibility is not just ethical but also legal.

    Here are some critical areas of responsibility:

    1. Proper Supervision: Daycare providers must ensure that children are supervised at all times. This includes having enough staff to maintain appropriate child-to-staff ratios, as defined by Florida Statute 402.305. A lack of supervision is the single leading cause of accidents and injuries.
    2. Safe and Clean Facilities: Daycare centers must maintain facilities that are clean and free from hazards. This includes ensuring that indoor and outdoor play areas are secure, equipment is in good condition, and the facility is clean and hygienic to prevent the spread of illnesses.
    3. Safe Toys and Equipment: All toys and equipment should be safe for children. They should be age-appropriate, in good condition, and not pose a choking hazard.
    4. Health and Safety Standards: Under Florida Statute 402.305, daycare centers must comply with minimum standards for children’s health, safety, and necessary care. This includes areas such as nutrition, first aid, emergency procedures, and handling of medications.
    5. Staff Training: Daycare staff should be adequately trained in child care, first aid, and CPR. They should also be trained to handle emergencies and recognize child abuse and neglect signs.
    6. Background Checks: Florida law requires daycare centers to conduct employee background checks to ensure the safety of children.

    Failure to meet these standards can be considered negligence. If a child is injured due to a daycare center’s failure to uphold these responsibilities, the center can be held legally liable for the damages. Parents in such a situation should consult with a personal injury attorney to explore their rights and legal options.

    Remember, these are not just legal responsibilities but also fundamental requirements to ensure the safety and well-being of our children.

    Steps Parents Can Take If Their Child Has Been Injured

    If your child has been injured at daycare in Florida:

    • First, seek immediate medical attention. Even if the injury seems minor, it’s crucial to have a medical professional evaluate your child.
    • Next, document the injury. Take photographs, write down what happened, and keep a record of medical visits and any related expenses.
    • Report the incident to the daycare center and, if necessary, to the Florida Department of Children and Families, which regulates daycare centers in Florida.
    • Find out whether the facility had closed circuit video. If so, demand that the video for that day be preserved and request a copy of the video footage.
    • Finally, consult with a personal injury attorney. A board-certified personal injury attorney can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, and determine if you have a case against the daycare provider.

    The safety of our children is paramount. Daycare providers have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure a safe environment for the children under their care. If your child has been injured at daycare, taking immediate action is essential.

    At Leighton Law, we’re committed to fighting for the rights of injured children and their families. Contact us today for a consultation.

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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