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My Child Was Injured at a Daycare or Summer Camp. What Should I Do?

September 3, 2019

In 2012, 9,058 injuries were reported to the Office of Child Care. That’s not a complete list, however, as only 28 states actually report all information on daycare injuries to the government. Some states only report serious injuries or injuries resulting in death. Some only report the injuries if they’re related to child abuse or neglect.

That covers the injuries at daycares, but what about summer camp injuries? In 2005, about 180 injuries were reported. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 1,000 child campers is injured during a summer camp. The numbers are lower, but it’s still concerning.

Common Daycare Injuries

When you send a child to daycare, you know that your child will be surrounded by other kids. Colds and other viruses are bound to happen. Some injuries are preventable and happen too often. According to the American Medical Associations’ JAMA Network, scrapes and cuts are the most common injury. Bumps and bruises are second. Those are often going to happen if a child falls inside or outside. They’re often minor issues, but a head injury can be serious and warrants medical attention.

Human bites are the third most common. This is something you should address as quickly as possible. A bacterial infection is a risk. It’s also emotionally detrimental for a child to be bitten by a peer.

Deep cuts are another injury children receive in a daycare. These cuts can happen on playground equipment that’s outdated or has nails or bolts sticking out. Broken toys should be removed immediately as the sharp edges of plastic can cause deep cuts.

If a daycare setting hasn’t secured bookshelves and a child starts to climb it, within seconds that bookshelf could topple and fall on top of the child causing serious injuries. Crush injuries account for almost 3% of daycare injuries.

Broken bones and sprains aren’t as high on the list, but they’re also possible. They are most common if the daycare has an outdoor playground with equipment like slides, swings, and monkey bars. With supervision, they can be safe. If the daycare provider is distracted for just a few seconds, it can lead to serious playground injuries.

Common Summer Camp Injuries

Illness accounts for most of the problems children encounter at summer camp. In a communal setting like that, viruses like the common cold and flu easily spread. Strep throat is another. It’s hard to avoid common childhood illnesses. In some cases, food poisoning might happen and that should be preventable. If food poisoning is due to improperly stored or prepared food, parents should find out what happened and how it will be prevented in the future.

Cuts, scrapes, and scratches are also common. A child may fall and get scraped on rocks or gravel. Burns are also possible, especially when a child is around a campfire and enjoying an activity like roasting marshmallows. The child may go to eat the marshmallow and now realize how hot it is on the inside. Some accidents are accidental, but if a child is too close to a fire and catches clothing on fire, a camp counselor should have been there supervising, so liability should be discussed.

Bone fractures, sprains, and strains are the third most common summer camp injury. It can happen if a child falls from a bunk bed, is climbing on rocks and falls, or trips and lands wrong while playing a game like Hide and Seek or Capture the Flag. Again, some of these injuries are accidental, but others are the result of neglect. If a child is walking up a set of steps and they collapse due to dry rot, questions must be asked about why the decking hadn’t been replaced prior to the start of camp.

What if it Happens to Your Family?

When it’s your child who has been injured, you have every right to be angry. You trusted in another person or group to watch your child and keep him/her safe.

If your child is injured, talk to the daycare or camp’s director and/or owner. Insist on filing an accident report. Don’t let this delay you from getting your child to an emergency room or urgent care center. Your child’s health is the most important thing. Get a medical evaluation and keep copies of bills, treatment information, and doctor’s notes.

If the injury is the result of negligence, bullying, or an assault by another child, give the daycare or camp a chance to remedy the situation. Be vocal and ask what steps they are taking to ensure it never happens again. If they aren’t doing much, you have every right to talk to an attorney who specializes in daycare or summer camp injuries.

Focus on your child. Don’t let the stress of medical bills and unpaid time off work cause undue strain on your mental and physical health. The Denver personal injury lawyers at Jordan Law focus on the legal aspect of a daycare or summer camp injury for you. You have a team of experts fighting for justice and ensuring your child’s voice is heard. Arrange a free consultation today.