Whether your child is an infant who can’t feed himself, a toddler who may run around with food in her mouth, or a preschooler who can’t safely cut her own food, your child requires supervision while eating. During the hours that your child is at daycare, it is the daycare staff’s obligation to exercise reasonable care and to comply with all applicable safety regulations so that your child is not injured.
How Daycare Kids Get Hurt During Feeding Time
Feeding time can be a dangerous time for daycare children. They may be at risk of suffering significant injuries if:
- Staff members fail to follow state safety regulations
- The daycare is understaffed
- Staff members are distracted
- Staff members are not properly trained
- Staff members fail to exercise due care
Some of the serious injuries that can result during feeding time include:
- Burns from bottles or food that is too hot
- Choking from food that is too big, a child who is rushing through eating, or other causes
- Allergic reactions caused by the failure to recognize allergens or properly monitor what a child is eating
- Illness from improper food storage, preparation, or service
These injuries can be painful, frightening, and in some cases life threatening.
How a Daycare Center Can Prevent Feeding Injuries
Kentucky regulations require the following of daycare facilities:
- For bottle feeding: infants from birth through their first birthdays should be held when bottle feeding unless the infant is able to hold a bottle independently in which case the infant may sit in a high chair and be supervised. A bottle should never be propped up for a child and a child should never be allowed to stand, walk, or run with a bottle.
- For meals and snacks: Minimum staff-to-child ratios must be maintained. This means that there should be one staff member for every five infants, one staff member for every six toddlers, one staff member for 10 preschoolers aged two to three, one staff member for every 12 preschoolers aged three to four, and one staff member for every 14 preschoolers aged four to five.
- For kitchens: daycares are required to maintain clean kitchens that have proper food preservation, storage, preparation, and service.
Additionally, daycare staff must exercise due care. This means that individualized precautions may need to be taken for some children. This could include, for example, children with allergies, children who may have difficulty swallowing, and children who may put too much food in their mouths at once.
How to Protect Your Child’s Recovery After a Feeding Injury
You did everything you could to protect your child by providing the daycare with as much information as you had about your child’s allergies and eating habits. Yet, each day it was ultimately the daycare’s responsibility to make sure that your child was safe in your absence. That’s the job they agreed to and that's what you paid them to do.
Feeding your child was part of that agreement. If the daycare failed to exercise reasonable care in keeping your infant, toddler, or preschooler safe during bottles, snacks, and meals and your child was hurt as a result then you may have the legal right to take action on behalf of your child.
That action may include a lawsuit against the daycare to recover damages for your child’s medical costs, out of pocket costs, pain and suffering. If your child died as a result of the daycare’s negligence, additional damages may be possible in a wrongful death lawsuit.
To learn more about all of your child’s rights and to make sure that they are protected, please contact an experienced daycare injury lawyer today for a free and confidential consultation. Reach out to us via this website or call us toll free at any time to learn more and to make an informed decision about what you can do next to protect your child and to hold the daycare accountable for the feeding injury that never should have happened.