When you send your child to daycare, you expect him or her to be taken care of and looked after. That is usually precisely what occurs. Unfortunately, though, proper care isn’t always given. There have been several cases of child abuse at daycares in Florida and around the country.
As a parent, it is a reasonable assumption that when you leave your child in the hands of daycare, the organization’s staff will work to ensure no harm comes to them. If anything other than their complete safety occurs, you may want to take legal action.
In many cases, if your child is injured while at daycare through the fault of another, the answer to the question of whether you can sue is yes, you can. This is true even in some cases in which you signed a pre incident waiver. Some daycares require parents or legal guardians to sign these documents before providing childcare services. This is important to note because after signing a pre incident waiver, some parents feel they have no legal recourse when, in fact, they do.
The attorneys at Balkan and Patterson are passionate about protecting the safety and rights of children and have won multiple lawsuits in the state of Florida against private, public, and special needs care facilities. If your child or the child of someone you know experienced abuse while at daycare, please do not hesitate to call (561) 750-9191 for a free consultation.
What Is Considered Neglect in a Daycare?
When trying to determine if you have a case, an attorney with experience dealing with daycares will typically start with the question, “What are the roles and responsibilities of childcare professionals?” And if the staff of the daycare in question fails to live up to those roles and responsibilities, you may have a case.
Examples of daycare negligence include:
- Broken Glass: Broken glass may seem like an improbable thing to appear at a daycare center of any kind. But there have been cases in which broken glass has been left uncleaned, and those instances predictably resulted in the injury of children. In most cases, broken glass is a clear example of negligence by daycare staff.
- Broken or Harmful Equipment: All equipment that is used by children should be in proper working order and should not be overly sharp, rusted, dangerous, or harmful in any other way that can easily injure children.
- Choking Hazards: Choking hazards are not acceptable at daycare centers. Any organization specifically geared toward children should have the proper oversight in place to avoid having any kind of choking hazard around for children to swallow. Also, in the case of choking, daycare staff should be trained in basic response methods to help your child in the case of an emergency.
- Inadequate Staffing: Daycare facilities are expected to have an adequate amount of staff members in proportion to the number of children in their care. Inadequate staffing is often due to unethical cost-cutting methods by daycare facilities and can sometimes represent negligence.
- Leaving Toxic Materials Within Children’s Grasp: As with choking hazards, it is the responsibility of daycares to ensure that no toxic materials are left within children’s reach. These can include paint, cleaning materials, and other dangerous substances.
- Mental or Emotional Abuse: Mental or emotional abuse can manifest in several ways. It is essential to always check in with your child and talk to him or her about her time while at daycare. If you suspect or know your child has been the victim of mental or emotional abuse, call (561) 750-9191 for a free consultation.
- Physical Abuse: Obviously, any instance of physical abuse of children needs to be aggressively pursued through all legal means possible.
- Staff Failing to Supervise Children Properly: Daycare staff need to be attentive whenever children are at their facility. Failing to properly supervise children can constitute neglect and may result in injury.
Are Daycares Responsible for My Child’s Injury?
The short answer to this question is, it depends. Many factors go into determining whether you have a legal claim against a daycare facility. Experienced attorneys can help you determine if you have a case.
Daycare Abuse Statistics
Daycare abuse statistics can be quite startling to parents the first time they are seen. Thousands of cases of abuse have occurred when children were in out-of-home care. If you believe your own child is a victim of abuse, seek the help of a knowledgeable attorney—not only for the sake of your child, but also for the sake of other children who may be experiencing the same thing.
Statutes of Limitations on Daycare Abuse
Statutes of limitations may place a timeline on how long you have to take legal action against daycare abuse. In 2010, however, the state of Florida removed the 4-year statute of limitations in cases of sexual abuse that involved victims younger than 16. Regardless of the nature of the abuse, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible if your child was abused while at out-of-home care.
Daycare Abuse Lawyer Boca Raton
Daycare abuse is often committed by people a child knows and trusts. We will fight for you and your child’s rights, as well as the justice that the perpetrator deserves. Allow us to handle your case with determination and compassion so that you can focus on your child and family.
The attorneys of Balkan & Patterson are proud to serve the South Florida communities of Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point, Parkland, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, and surrounding areas. Please call us at (561) 750-9191 for a free consultation.