Daycare Negligence Attorney in St. Louis
When you drop your child off at daycare, you never want to imagine that neglect on the part of staff or management could result in an injury. Like most parents, grandparents, and guardians who love their child, you probably searched long and hard for the best daycare. It could then come as a shock to find your child’s daycare facility exhibited negligence—and that negligence caused an injury to your child. You may be uncertain as to whether negligence caused your child’s injury—or whether it was simply an accident. Either way, the experienced daycare negligence lawyers at Finney Injury Law can help you through this difficult time. We understand this is an emotional time for you, and want to help you through the process, ensuring justice is fully served at the same time.
Does an Injury Automatically Mean There Was Neglect at a Daycare Facility?
As any parent or guardian knows, children and injuries seem to go hand-in-hand. No matter how careful adults are to supervise children and ensure there are no safety hazards, accidents will happen. If your child is injured in daycare, perhaps it was nothing more than an unforeseeable accident. Or perhaps the accident was the result of negligence. The responsibility of a daycare facility only extends as far as they are able to reasonably foresee and prevent injury. Negligence means the daycare failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent an injury that was foreseeable.
How is Neglect Defined?
Unfortunately, often due to understaffing, child neglect is all too common in daycare facilities. Neglect differs from abuse—abuse includes hitting, slapping, kicking, or otherwise physically harming a child, mental and emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and sexual abuse. Neglect can refer to the mistreatment of a child, or a lack of meeting the daily basic needs of the child. These basic needs include food, water, access to necessary healthcare, and adult supervision.
When you leave your child at a daycare facility it is the responsibility of the staff to ensure your child—and all the children—receive these basic needs every day. In short, daycare staff and management are responsible for the wellbeing of each child left in their care. Neglect can stunt a child’s physical and emotional growth, having a negative effect on the child for years to come. If you suspect negligence, speak to our St. Louis daycare negligence lawyers from Finney Injury Law.
What Are Some Examples of Neglect in a Daycare Facility?
Signs of neglect in a daycare setting can be obvious, or more subtle. If you have a “gut” feeling that something is not right, you should always pay attention, and look more closely. Some signs of neglect in a daycare facility include:
- There aren’t enough care providers. In the state of Missouri, the ratio of children to care providers is 4:1 for babies and toddlers up to two years old, 10:1 for children 3-4 years old, 16:1 for 5-year-olds and older, 10:1 for mixed groups older than 2 years, and 8:1 for a mixed group with more than 4 children that are two years old. While this is the state mandate, depending on the providers, this ratio can be too high. Take notice of how the care provider(s) appear at the end of the day and how well they are supervising all the children.
- Children are left unsupervised outside or in another room. Supervision is crucial, particularly among younger children. A baby can roll off a changing table in the blink of an eye, and a toddler can find all manner of things to get into in no time at all.
- Children are unsupervised or left in a daycare van or bus. After transportation, children are left behind in a vehicle of transport and forgotten. This can be especially concerning when temperatures are either too hot or cold, which can cause injury or in extreme cases death.
- A child is “lost” while on a field trip. No one who has ever taken young children on a field trip will say it’s easy. Even so, it is crucial that there be enough adults on a field trip—along with proper protocols in place—to ensure the safety of each and every child.
- There are issues related to daycare cleanliness or the facility simply doesn’t appear hygienic. You want your child to be in a clean facility as well as one that does not have small objects, including office or craft supplies accessible to the children. Children often suffer injury by swallowing small and/or sharp objects. Cleaning supplies should all be well out of reach of children as well. If the facility simply doesn’t seem well-taken care of and clean, there might be other issues with neglect.
- Your child consistently comes home extremely hungry or thirsty. If your child is consistently hungry and/or thirsty when you pick him or her up, this could be a sign that the childcare providers are not ensuring he or she is adequately nourished. If your child begins to lose weight, or show any signs of dehydration, these are serious warning signs of neglect.
- Your child often comes home with bruises, scratches, or other physical marks. As a parent you know that children take some spills, particularly when they are learning to walk. If, however, your child comes home on a regular basis with unexplained marks, then the daycare facility could be guilty of neglect or abuse.
- Your child has frequent infections. This could mean the facility is not hygienic, has no protocols as far as separating healthy children from those who are sick or doesn’t have other health measures in place.
- Your child seems withdrawn or exhibits other emotional issues. Neglect can lead to changes in a child’s mood, as well as damage to his or her long-term emotional health.
How a Knowledgeable St. Louis Daycare Negligence Lawyer from Finney Injury Law Help?
The process of taking legal action following the neglect of your child at a daycare facility can be a difficult one. A lawyer for daycare negligence from Finney Injury Law can greatly increase the chance of a positive outcome. You should be able to feel confident leaving your child at daycare, knowing he or she is well taken care of and not neglected. When the unthinkable happens, contact the daycare negligence lawyers at Finney Injury Law.