In the modern world many households’ economic situations are such that parents must enroll their children in a daycare or other supervised activity center, either full-time or as an after-school program so that the parents can be able to work to provide for their families’ financial needs. And the staff at most daycare facilities are safe, responsible people who provide an appropriate environment for the children in their care. Because of the increased supervision and safety focused environment of most childcare facilities, statistically children have less chance of suffering unintentional injuries at a daycare center than they do at home. However, incidents sometimes still do occur.
Types Of Daycare Injuries
Injuries suffered at daycare centers fall into two general categories: child factors, such as falls, pinched fingers, or being hit or bitten by another child; and environmental factors such as slippery floors, sharp objects, or poorly maintained playground equipment. Statistically about half of injuries are caused by child factors, 43 percent a combination of child and environmental factors, and the remaining percent are caused strictly by environmental issues. Of these, various types of falls are by far the most common way children attending a daycare center get injured.
Kinds Of Injuries
The kids of injuries that happen to children in a daycare facility or after-school program are for the most part consistent with injuries that children suffer in their day-to-day home life, including:
- Broken bones;
- Twisting injuries of the ankles and sometimes knees;
- Sprains, particularly of the ankles and wrists;
- Being hit or bitten by other children; and
- Being hit by objects thrown by another child.
These kinds of injuries can occur without there being negligence on the part of the daycare facility’s staff, but if they begin to be a reoccurring issue then it should be a warning sign to parents that they should examine how the facility is being operated. The vast majority of injuries at daycare facilities are preventable if the staff is diligent in how the business is run, and understands the importance of being prepared for any eventualities which may occur.
When signing children up for daycare or after-school programs, almost all facilities will include a section in their contract that purports to release the facility from any liability in the event that a child is injured. These are called “indemnity clauses”, and it is important to know that they are almost always considered by the courts to be invalid. There is a strong public policy interest in not allowing a parent to sign away a child’s right to compensation in the event of an accident or injury; without this there is no incentive for childcare facilities and after-school programs to do the best job possible when keeping children safe, and could even create the possibility of them acting in an intentionally negligent manner in the interests of reducing operating costs and increasing profitability at the expense of society’s youngest members. You don’t have to be a parent to understand that this is not a desirable outcome.
Contact A Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If your child has been injured at a daycare facility or after school program, you owe it to them to explore the options available for recovery and compensation as thoroughly as possible. It is in the best interests of both you and your child to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine the best course of action in your particular situation.