As parents, we place a great deal of trust in daycare facilities. Houston daycare providers are responsible for making sure that our children are safe and healthy while we are at work or running errands. Unfortunately, children can suffer injuries in daycare facilitiesâ€”and in some cases, daycare negligence is to blame. If your child sustained an injury in a Houston daycare facility, you may have grounds for legal action.
Daycare Regulations in Texas
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) regulates and oversees daycare centers in Houston. According to the Texas Administrative Code, these facilities must meet certain minimum standards to obtain and maintain their licenses. For example, daycare centers have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for all children at all times, and they must submit a report to the DFPS if an accident occurs. They may also maintain a proper ratio of staff to children to ensure adequate supervision.
Daycare Negligence in Houston
Daycare accidents can happen for several reasons, from rough play with other children to slippery playground equipment. However, if a child suffers an injury due to the negligence of a daycare provider, the provider may be liable.
Negligence occurs when a daycare facility fails to uphold its duty to the children under its care. An act of negligence could involve an instance of abuse or neglect, a violation of DFPS regulations, or another act that otherwise breaches the provider’s duty to maintain a safe environment.
Examples of actions that constitute negligence include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Failure to screen employees who are unsafe to be around children
- Failure to adequately supervise children at all times
- Failure to replace rusty, defective, or dangerous playground equipment
- Ignoring a child’s food allergies
- Feeding stale food or unclean water to children
What to Do After a Daycare Accident in Houston
If your child sustains a daycare accident, you may have grounds to pursue legal action. However, you will need to prove that your child suffered an injury due to the daycare provider’s negligence. As a result, you will need to take careful steps to protect your child, preserve evidence, and seek assistance from a Houston personal injury lawyer.
- As soon as your child sustains an injury, the daycare provider should report the incident to DFPS and seek emergency medical attention. The facility should also contact you immediately. While at the facility, talk to staff members about what occurred and ensure that the manager files a report.
- If the facility does not seek medical attention for your child, take him or her to a hospital as soon as possible. Save all records related to your child’s injuries and treatment.
- If your child can communicate what happened, ask him or her questions about the incident and write down what he or she tells you. You should also photograph any visible injuries and the location where the accident occurred.
- Request surveillance footage from the daycare facility and collect information about who was on duty, the name of the on-duty manager, and the number of children at the facility at the time of the accident. Keep in mind that the facility may not want to provide this information.
If you suspect that your child sustained an injury due to daycare negligence, speak to a Houston lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can obtain evidence from the daycare facility, conduct an in-depth investigation into the accident, and help hold the facility accountable for your child’s injuries. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.