Summer is right around the corner, and many parents are making final child care arrangements.
Working parents want to ensure that their children are safe and happy at their day care facility. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at day care facilities. And many of these accidents are avoidable.
Let’s take a look at some of the warning signs of a potentially unsafe child care facility:
- It’s understaffed: Does it seem like the day care facility is understaffed? Be sure to ask about the facility’s caregiver-to-child ratio. Generally, there should be one caregiver for every three infants and young toddlers, one caregiver for every six older toddlers, and one caregiver for every nine preschool-aged children. Any less could indicate that the facility is understaffed.
- Staff are not properly trained: Having a competent, properly trained staff is critical for the health and safety of children. Background checks should be undergone for each staff member. Members of staff should be CRP-certified and have first aid training.
- There are dangerous toys, furniture, and products on site: Some of these items may be easily noticeable – harsh cleaners within a child’s reach, for example. But some are not so obvious. The popular Malm dresser by Ikea has been recalled after an 8th child died in a tip-over accident. There are many other potentially dangerous toys, furniture items, and products. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a recall list. The day care facility and its staff must be aware of these dangers and proactively eliminate them.
- The facility is not emergency prepared: Emergencies are rare, but it is very important that the facility is prepared for one. There should be carbon monoxide and smoke detectors throughout the center, and they should be regularly tested. An evacuation plan should be posted. Fire drills should be practiced. Emergency numbers should be posted. Doors should be locked, and visitors should be properly checked in. These measures are all essential for child safety.
If you notice that your child’s day care facility is not following these precautions, talk to the facility director. If safety precautions are not taken, even after you have raised your concerns, consider moving your child to a more secure location.
If your child has been injured at a day care facility, talk to a personal injury attorney from Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner.