Determining Liability for Daycare Injuries

If you’re a parent, you probably remember the first time you dropped your child off at daycare. While trying to coax your anxious child to go inside, you probably felt some uneasiness of your own. Was this a safe place? Would they take care of your child? What if something happens?

Daycare Injuries: More Common Than You Think?

Unfortunately, this fear isn’t always unfounded. Between 1985 and 2003, the years for which statistics are most readily available, there were 1,362 deaths at child care facilities. Many of these fatalities occurred at in-home care centers and unlicensed facilities. However, fatalities and injuries occur anywhere, regardless of whether the daycare is run by a school, church, or independent organization.

Most daycare injuries are not the result of intentional abuse or malicious behavior. Instead, negligence is a common cause. When left unsupervised, children can easily injure themselves. If an adult is not nearby to intervene, a situation can quickly turn deadly. Common daycare injuries that result from negligence include:

  • Minor injuries, like cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Broken bones and dislocations
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Unintentional poisoning
  • Drowning
  • Burns
  • Choking and suffocation

Illness at daycare facilities is also a concern, as a recent tragedy at a daycare facility in downtown Miami shows. Two children both died within days of each other, after coming down with what is suspected to be meningitis, an infection that affects the brain and spinal cord. After the death of the first child, the day center informed parents of the illness, but did not acknowledge that the child had died. After the second child died a week later, authorities temporarily shut down the facility.

Determining Fault

When an injury occurs at a daycare facility, there are two major factors to consider when determining liability:

  • The cause of the injury and how the injury occurred
  • The foreseeability of the injury

For example, if a child is playing on playground equipment that is not suitable for their age, it is foreseeable that they get hurt. On the other hand, if a child is playing on age appropriate equipment that suddenly breaks, with no prior indication that it would break, the injuries are not foreseeable.

No one wants to think about their child getting hurt, and the thought of not being there to help is even worse! To give yourself some peace of mind, research daycare centers before enrolling your child, and make sure it is safe and clean, with well-trained and attentive staff. If something feels off, find somewhere else, if possible. Finding the perfect daycare takes some work, but it’s worth it, if it prevents injuries or illnesses!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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