Most of us would rather not need to work when our children are young, so instead we could spend that time raising and caring for our kids. Unfortunately, a lot of parents don't have that option, and instead entrust their children's health and wellbeing to daycare providers. And sadly, that trust is sometimes violated.
While the vast majority of daycare providers do excellent work caring for children, there are exceptions. Here's what you need to know about keeping your children safe when they're not at home.
Playground Injuries: Over 200,000 kids are injured on playgrounds every year, and many daycare facilities either have playgrounds or take children to visit playgrounds as part of their daily activities. Additionally, almost half of those playground injuries are serious, including bone fractures, internal injuries, and concussions, and many are preventable with diligent supervision.
Loose and Falling Objects: A child's curiosity for loose items on tables, shelves, chairs, and desks is apparently knows no bounds. Daycare facilities with tall bookshelves and cluttered spaces can pose increased risk for bruises, broken bones, and head injuries.
Bottle Warmer Burns: Children young enough to be bottle fed at home will need to be bottle fed at daycare, and that child's bottle will need to be warmed. Sadly, burns from bottle warmers are all too common. Children have been known to reach for their bottles and pull on cords or the warmers themselves, tipping the scalding water onto themselves and suffering series burns.
See the Facility: You'd be surprised at how many parents pick daycare facilities for their children sight unseen. If you can, visit on a busy day when other children are there and get a sense of the space and the activities your child will be engaged in. This can give you a better idea of the injury risks he or she may face.
See Their Credentials: Make sure the daycare facility is properly licensed and accredited by local, state, and national authorities (the National Association for the Education of Young Children and National Association for Family Child Care are just two).
See the Signs: Pay close attention to your child's appearance and demeanor before and after daycare. Not all injuries of forms of neglect or abuse come with physical cuts or bruises, so know the signs of child abuse and know how to talk to your children about their experiences.
If your child has been injured at daycare, you may want to consult with an experienced injury attorney in your area.