Do You Suspect that Someone Might Be Abusing Your Child at Daycare?
When you leave your child at daycare, you do so with the belief that he or she will be well cared for and protected from harm. The idea of anyone at the daycare actively abusing your child is the last thing you want to imagine, yet it might be at the forefront of your thoughts if your child comes home from daycare with an unexplained or poorly explained injury. It is not uncommon for parents to think that they are misreading a situation when they suspect abuse. Yet, it is better to be safe than sorry when such suspicions cross your mind, and at the very least, look into the situation to see if your suspicions might be justified.
How Daycares Should Respond to Child Injuries
Any time an injury occurs to a child at a daycare, the daycare facility should respond appropriately. They should know exactly how the injury occurred, because they should be supervising the children well enough to prevent injuries or at least know what happened. Sometimes, injuries cannot be prevented, even with the best of care, but there should be no question as to how the injury occurred. The staff at the daycare should be able to explain what happened and what they did in response to the injury.
For example, if the injury is serious, such as a fall, resulting in a broken bone, then the daycare should call for emergency assistance and inform you right away. If the injury is something like a scrape or a bruise, then they should provide first aid, as needed, and inform you of what happened to cause that injury. If an injury is not reported to you, or if the daycare is unable to explain what happened to the child, then you may suspect abuse or neglect. If your child is injured more than once, especially if it happens frequently, then you may suspect abuse.
When You Suspect Daycare Abuse
It is important to never write off your suspicions as an effect of being an overly protective parent. If you have reason to think that your child might be abused at daycare, you need to investigate. You can start by talking to your child about their injuries and how they happened, if your child is old enough to express themselves on the subject. If your child doesn’t want to tell you or seems uncomfortable talking about it, then this could be a bad sign. You can also talk to your child about how he or she feels about daycare and the different care providers. If your child is fearful of daycare or seems to fear or dislike a certain person at daycare, this could be an indication that the child might have been abused at daycare.
Whenever injuries require medical attention, you should take the child to the doctor, and do not be afraid to discuss your suspicions. If you have not already alerted the authorities, then the doctor will. Even if you have, the doctor will also do so because they are obligated to report any suspicions that a child has been abused by anyone. There are multiple ways for you to report suspected daycare abuse. You can call the police, the Department of Early Care and Learning, or the Georgia Division of Children & Family Services.
In cases where the daycare is licensed by the Department of Early Care and Learning, you can reach them at (404)657-5562. If they are not licensed, then you can report them to the Georgia Division of Children & Family Services child protective services hotline (855-GA-CHILD or 855-422-4453). You would also be wise to seek out another childcare provider if you have any suspicions of abuse, because you do not want your child to suffer in a dangerous situation, and it is much better to be safe than sorry. You should also contact an attorney with experience handling daycare abuse cases, such as Council & Associates, for a free consultation.
Different Ways that Children Can Be Injured at Daycare
Not all daycare injuries are the result of abuse. In most cases, the injuries are either accidental and unpreventable or the result of negligence or neglect. Children can get bitten or hit by other children. They can be harmed by animals or insect bites. They can consume hazardous substances or foods that they are allergic to. They can fall from playground equipment, fall from heights, and fall into pools and lakes. They could be harmed by being left in a hot vehicle or by being allowed to play with dangerous things, like matches or weapons. They could be injured from a heavy object falling on them, such as an unanchored book shelf. They could be injured through inappropriate disciplinary measures or other forms of physical and sexual abuse. Without adequate supervision, a child could even be kidnapped or could walk into traffic.
Different Types of Child Care Providers Who Could Be Negligent
There are also a variety of different types of child care providers who could be negligent when a child is injured. When it comes to daycares, this is usually a staff member. However, it could also be a counselor or the driver of a bus. In other cases, babysitters, nannies, and teachers can be held responsible for injuries that occur to children in their care. Such negligence and injuries can occur in a daycare setting, in a field trip setting, in a church setting, or at a school.
If your child’s injury occurred somewhere other than a daycare facility, you can still contact the police or the Georgia Division of Children & Family Services child protective services hotline (855-GA-CHILD or 855-422-4453). You can also contact Georgia’s Office of the Child Advocate at (404)656-4200. In any event, you can contact an attorney to further investigate and pursue compensation for any injuries that have occurred to your child while in the care of another.
Forms of Compensation You Can Recover From a Daycare Abuse or Neglect Claim
With the help of the attorneys at Council & Associates, you can discover exactly what happened to your child, establish who was negligent in the child’s injuries, and recover compensation. You can receive compensation for economic damages, such as medical expenses. You can recover compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and psychological trauma. You can also frequently recover punitive damages, when the negligence or abuse of the childcare provider warrants economic punishment. In many cases, those who are responsible for your child’s injuries will also face other consequences, including criminal charges and/or the loss of their license for providing childcare services.
If you suspect daycare abuse or neglect, call Council & Associates to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options and your rights. We will answer all of your questions, and if we take your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we take your case, and we don’t recover compensation for you, then we will not charge you. If you have a valid claim for compensation and that compensation is recovered for you, only then will we charge a fee for our services. Call the dedicated Atlanta, Georgia daycare injury claim attorneys today to learn more.