Signs of Daycare Neglect

According to numerous studies, since your child’s daycare years are formative, abuse can have lasting adverse effects. A study found that almost 31% of neglected children qualified in diagnostic standards for lifetime post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, in a study conducted by Dr. Jeffrey G. Johnson of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Hospital, victims of childhood neglect and/or abuse are “four times as likely as those who had not been abused or neglected to have personality disorders during early adulthood.”

Neglect is classified as a form of child abuse and may take different forms, so knowing the red flags to look for can help you identify a problem before it’s too late. How exactly do you know if your daycare facility has neglected your child?

Physical Neglect

Physical neglect is the most noticeable kind of child neglect. If you drop your child off at daycare clean, full, and without injuries but pick up your child only to find everything opposite, your daycare could be physically neglecting your child.

Here are some of the signs:

Soiled or unchanged diaper

According to child care experts, a child’s diaper should be checked every hour and must be changed immediately, and every time they are wet or soiled. Keeping a child’s diaper area clean is crucial for daycare facilities since it could cause a flurry of medical problems. A child who stays in a soiled diaper for long will have severe diaper rash. Apart from being tortuously painful, raw skin, if exposed to the bacteria in their feces or urine, could result in a severe bacterial infection that might endanger your child’s life.

Hunger or thirst

A negligent daycare could forget or fail to provide your child with food and drink. If your child is always hungry or thirsty at pick-up, it may indicate that they are being deprived of proper sustenance and nutrition while you’re away.

Poor hygiene

A grubby face, matted hair, unwashed hands, or body odor are all signs of neglect. A daycare facility unbothered with your child’s dirtiness is a telltale sign that the daycare provider does not care about your child’s health and image.


Suppose your child constantly has unexplained bruises, pinches, or scratches. It could be that a daycare employee has been physically abusive to your child, a classmate has been bullying your child, or the daycare is not correctly child-proofed.

Medical neglect

Your daycare has the legal and moral obligation to care for your child as much as you do. So, if your child has noticeable wounds that were kept unbandaged, you arrived to find your child in a situation where they were refused immediate medical attention, if your daycare is not vigilant to your child’s unique medical needs; then you should begin questioning your daycare’s level of concern for your child.

For instance, a father dropped off his one-year-old son before work. The boy was born with half a heart, so he needs to take medication daily. One day, when a substitute teacher was looking after him, the teacher gave him a full three days’ worth of medication instead. When the boy’s mother called the daycare to confront them for the negligence, they told her that it could have been a lot worse, as he didn’t die.

Poor supervision

Have you repeatedly noticed that children in your daycare were left unattended? Try stopping by unannounced to catch if your daycare’s employees are always attentive.

In Canada, a daycare center was letting kids have some outdoor playtime when it was snowing, and there were supposed to be two teachers watching them. A two-year-old girl opened the gate and walked across the neighborhood. When the children went back inside after playtime, the employees failed to notice that one of the children was missing. The little girl grew tired and sat on a porch, where she was eventually spotted.

The event could’ve ended on a much darker note and in a hundred different ways, like in a 2011 case of child neglect in Texas where a 24-year-old running an in-home daycare was sentenced to 80 years in prison after leaving four children to go shopping at a nearby Target.

Two children were seriously injured, while a 16-month-old perished in a fire that erupted when a pan of oil left boiling on the stove ignited.

They discovered that the carer had often left children in her home alone during her trial.

Emotional Neglect

Childhood emotional neglect is defined as a type of neglect caused by the inattentiveness of a caregiver to a child’s emotional needs and is the least noticeable kind of neglect.

In one instance, a young boy was locked in his daycare’s pitch-black bathroom every time he was deemed unruly and was left terrified and crying for hours. The parents suspected something was amiss when the boy started being unable to sleep in a dark bedroom while simultaneously displaying behavioral changes.

Although it may seem trivial to you, how your daycare handles your child’s emotions could have substantial psychological and social impacts on your child’s development. Children who have suffered emotional neglect have difficulties maintaining relationships with friends, family, and even their future children.

Among behaviors to look out for are regression, lack of confidence, and difficulty feeling and expressing emotions.

If you suspect your child suffered physical, medical, or emotional neglect from your daycare facility, you may be able to set up a successful personal injury claim. As your experienced personal injury attorneys, we will make sure you get compensation for harm to your child. So you can have the financial freedom to choose another daycare, give your child a Disneyland weekend, or both! What’s most important is to take legal action as soon as possible.

Reach out to our firm to discuss and establish your claim and how we can support your legal process.

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