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Daycare Accidents

We trust daycares to protect and care for what is most precious to us - our children. A reputable daycare provider - whether licensed or unlicensed - understands this great responsibility and ensures their premises are safe and clean, their staff is well-trained, and that procedures are in place to manage any foreseeable risk to the children in their care.

Unfortunately, not all daycare providers strictly adhere to the rules and regulations established by the government and, even in well-run facilities, accidents can and do happen. Learning your child has been seriously injured at daycare can be one of the most devastating moments of a person’s life. Discovering that a daycare provider’s negligence caused or contributed to this harm is even worse. It is a complete betrayal of trust these providers promised us and the consequences of their neglect can be difficult to envision.

When a young child becomes seriously harmed or permanently disabled, they not only experience the trauma of the moment of their injury, but they are also robbed of so many positive experiences they could have had in the future. Compensating these children and their loved ones for these losses is a matter of the utmost importance. The costs associated with the care they will require could be immense, and the loss of future income and other opportunities will negatively affect their material well being and enjoyment of life.

By retaining an experienced and skilled pediatric injury lawyer to build a strong case for damages, you and your loved ones can have peace of mind that your interests are being represented effectively. Knowing that a fierce advocate is in your corner to help you access the funds you need and deserve for their injuries will allow you to focus on helping your child begin their recovery.

Government licensing.

Any premises providing temporary care and guidance for more than five children under the age of 13 must be licenced by the Ministry of Education under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, unless otherwise exempt. To determine whether a licence is required, the Ministry requires detailed information about a child care provider’s planned program, including:

  • hours of operation.
  • the ages and number of children under care.
  • a description of the program, equipment and facilities.
  • a schedule of activities.
  • a list of other programs offered.
  • if transportation to or from the program is offered.

Applicants must enroll in the Child Care Licensing System and will be matched with a Ministry of Education Program Advisor to review the application. According to the Ministry, it takes an average of four months to complete the application process and open a new child care centre or home child care agency. But some applicants will experience longer waits depending on the time it takes to:

  • complete renovations.
  • receive a police records check.
  • purchase equipment.
  • hire and recruit a supervisor and staff.
  • develop policies and procedures. obtain all required approvals.

The provincial government also provides manuals for establishing and operating child care centres, before and after school programs, and home child care agencies.

Unlicensed childcare providers must not care for more than five children, including the provider’s own children under the age of four. No more than three children can be under the age of two. Unlicensed providers must also:

  • provide receipts for payment of services free of charge upon request.
  • keep written confirmation for two years that they have informed parents/guardians in writing that they are an unlicensed provider.
  • allow the parent/guardian access to the premises and their child.

Although the Ministry of education is not responsible for monitoring unlicensed childcare providers, it does investigate alleged violations of licensing and maintains a registry of violations.

Abuse, neglect and hazards in day care centres.

Although most responsible child care providers take on these jobs because they are good with children and have a nurturing approach to care, it is possible some staff (or other people permitted on the premises) may neglect or intentionally hurt children. Some children may be able to verbally express what happened to them, but others may be incapable of telling their parents or guardians how they were harmed or may not even be aware that they received substandard care.

Some potential signs of abuse and/or neglect include:

  • a noticeable change in a child’s behaviour (aggression, fussiness, sadness, or becoming clingy, distant or timid).
  • unusual fears.
  • sleep disturbances.
  • unexplained weight loss.
  • excessive or persistent diaper rash or other evidence of lack of hygiene.
  • bruising or cuts.

In other cases a child may sustain an injury from a hazardous situation or activity, if the premises is not properly maintained, or if the child is not adequately supervised. Young children are most frequently injured by burns, poisoning, choking or suffocation. In daycare settings these types of injuries could occur from improperly stored chemicals (burns), unsecured dangerous substances and plants (poisoning), leaving small objects or toys unattended (choking), or leaving plastic bags accessible or improperly preparing a crib (suffocation).

Other common daycare accidents and/or injuries include:

  • slip and falls (from playground equipment, stairwells, high chairs).
  • drownings (at pools or in baths).
  • exposure to elements (left outside in the cold or in a hot car or room).
  • playground accidents
  • broken bones

Research suggests children are more likely to be injured during arrivals/departures, later in the day when they are tired, and when they are unfamiliar with a setting.

Sadly, the vast majority of these injuries are preventable. Childproofing spaces, establishing systems of checks for routine and special activities, and ensuring equipment is in proper working order can significantly reduce the risk of injury.

A duty of care.

Daycare providers are not held to a standard of perfection. Accidents can happen even when best practices are followed and our children are given the proper level of attentive care. However, if the negligent actions of a daycare provider or their inactions cause or contribute to a child suffering serious harm, they can be held liable for compensation and damages for the losses these young victims experience.

If your child has been injured at a daycare facility, or a childcare setting or home agency, whether licensed or unlicensed, or you believe there has been daycare negligence, it is worth your time to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if you have an actionable claim.

At Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers, we take inquiries about pediatric injuries very seriously. As one of Canada’s top ranked personal injury firms, we have built a strong reputation for helping victims of serious injuries access the compensation and damages they need and deserve for the harm caused to them. Unafraid to take on even the most challenging and complex files, our team understands what it takes to build strong cases.

Help when you’re hurt.

When you contact a member of Gluckstein’s daycare accidents team for a no cost, no obligation initial assessment, you will quickly learn why we are renowned for our professionalism and commitment to client care. After listening to your story with great interest and empathy, we’ll explain your rights and outline your various options.

The first step in making a claim for damages is conducting a preliminary investigation into the circumstances behind your child’s injury. This investigation will include a review of their medical charts to understand the nature and extent of their injury, learning the daycare provider’s procedures and practices, and compiling any witness statements about what occurred. Since children may not be able to clearly explain what occurred, we will draw on our extensive network of medical experts to understand how particular injuries could have occurred and what the severity of the injury suggests about the incident.

If we believe we stand a good chance of building a successful case for compensation and damages for you and your loved ones, we will offer to be your legal representative and advocate in proceedings. Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers believe that access to justice should never depend on a client’s financial resources. Therefore, we cover all the costs associated with the case and will only accept payment if we negotiate an acceptable settlement for you or win an award from the court.

Our firm treats our clients as we would treat our own family. We know that you and your loved ones are connecting with us at one of the most difficult and distressing moments of your life. When you trust us to take on your case, we will always treat you with the respect, compassion and attentive care you deserve. Our client liaisons - some of whom have experienced their own personal injury cases - will be available every step of the way to help you understand the process, answer your questions, connect you with important resources and supports, and simply be there when you need someone to talk to about how you are managing in the face of your challenges.

When one of the most precious people in your life has sustained a tragic injury, count on one of our pediatric injury lawyers to help you to get a sense of justice for the wrongs that have been done. Contact us today and together, we can work to ensure your loved one has the financial resources they need to be compensated fairly for the harm they’ve suffered.

Ontario Daycare Accident Lawyers.

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