The daycare center can be a great place for your child! Kids can learn a lot by attending daycare, they have the ability to make friends, and it provides you with a safe place to drop off your child so you can go to work.
Unfortunately, not all daycares are as safe as they should be. Even if the center is relatively safe, accidents do happen, and you may discover that your child has been injured.
Knowing what to do can be difficult. You will want to do everything you can right away, but there are many steps you should take in the days and weeks after your child’s injury.
Contact an Attorney
It’s always a good idea to hire an attorney. Although an attorney takes a percentage of the settlement, they also increase your chances of reaching a settlement in the first place. They can determine whether or not the daycare center should be held liable, they can fill out the necessary paperwork, and they can build a strong case in your favor.
Another benefit of hiring an attorney is the fact that they can help you make sure that whatever happened to your child doesn’t happen to anyone else’s, especially in cases of inexcusable negligence.
Make Sure Your Child Gets the Help They Need
It is extremely important to make sure your child gets the help they need. That includes medical care for any physical injuries, but it should also include mental health services.
A therapist or psychologist can help your child work through their own feelings about the accident. They can help them regain their confidence around other children and adults, and therapy can even reduce the stress on the rest of your family.
It’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment, but there are also signs that your child could use a little help with their mental health. They include:
- Worrisome changes in behavior, like withdrawing or sadness
- A sudden disinterest in things they used to enjoy
- Physical symptoms, like headaches or stomach aches
- Changes to their sleep habits
Document What Led to Your Child’s Injury
Accidents aren’t uncommon among children. Kids get sunburned, scrapes, and bruises, but because they’re so accident-prone, it is also relatively easy for them to suffer more serious injuries.
No matter the severity or number of injuries, it’s important to get to the bottom of why your child was injured and document that information. Did the daycare run out of sunscreen? Is the sidewalk outside uneven? Was a door accidentally left unlatched? Even if you don’t pursue legal aid, it’s always a good idea to keep track of this information. It can enable you to pursue a settlement at a later time, it can be used to help another parent’s case, or it may uncover the information you weren’t aware of.
Know the Protections a Daycare Center Must Provide
It’s important to document what led to your child’s injury, but it’s also important to understand the protections your daycare must provide. That means understanding what goes into the licensing process, as well as the details of your particular contract.
All daycares must remove hazards that may pose a threat and they must continuously monitor all children. It’s their job to keep your child safe, but there are situations where they may not be held liable even if your child is injured. For example, the daycare was providing an adequate level of care, even if a freak accident caused a vehicle to crash through the wall.
Find Another Daycare Center
If your child was injured at his daycare, he may not want to go back. It may also make you uncomfortable to send your child back to an environment where they were previously injured.
It’s not a bad idea to consider other daycare options. Just make sure you know what to look for so you don’t end up putting your child in another daycare that puts them in danger. For example, you’ll want to take a tour, choose a provider that is properly licensed, and consider reviews from other parents. Make sure you obtain an agreement in writing regarding the services they provide, especially if you’re choosing an in-home or informal daycare setting.
Accidents happen, especially when children are involved. However, that doesn’t mean all injuries are okay. If your child was injured while they were at daycare, follow these tips to help your family regain a sense of normalcy after the accident.