Wednesday, October 17, 2012



A recent case of a severe injury to a child at a daycare center I am handling underscores the importance of following the rules and regulations of Tennessee that are designed to prevent serious daycare injuries to children. 

The law states that, “Children must have adult supervision at all times.”

The supervision required at a preschool or daycare center is very specific:

“Children six weeks of age through two (2) years of age shall be within sight and sound of an adult at all times.” 

It requires that there be an adult/child ratio of 1:4 in cases of caring for infants 6 weeks to 15 months, and 1:6 for toddlers 12 months to 30 months. The ratio for 2 year olds is 1:7 and it increases to 1:9 for three year olds.

“Children three (3) years through five (5) years of age shall be safely protected by an adult in close proximity and not distracted by other tasks.”

“Children six (6) years through nine (9) years of age shall be protected by an adult who adjusts restrictions appropriately for different ages and abilities.”

“When infants are cared for in a center with older children, they shall not be grouped with children three years of age and over, and a separate area shall be provided for them.”

It has been my experience that many daycare owners are wonderful, caring people who love nurturing children. However, we parents know it only takes an instant for a child to be hurt severely in a daycare center. 

Proper supervision is the very best solution to ensure safety of children in a daycare center.

On weeks like Spring Break or Fall Break, the chance of injuries intensifies as school age kids, who are out of class, are often dropped off at their little brother or sister’s daycare center. 

No one cares for a child like a parent can, but you can help make sure your daycare center is up to code with a few questions. “How many children are you expecting today?”  “Which helpers are here today?”

Playground equipment is another problem, as it quickly can fall into disrepair.  Developmental appropriate playground equipment is important, as there should be a toddler swings for the younger children, as they can easily topple out of typical sling type swings.

Here are some of the equipment rules:

“All indoor and outdoor equipment shall be well made and safe. There shall be no dangerous angles, no sharp edges, splinters, nails sticking out, no open S-hooks or pinch points within children’s reach. Damaged equipment shall be repaired or removed from the room or playground immediately. Equipment shall be kept clean by washing frequently with soap and water. There shall be developmentally-appropriate equipment and furnishings for each age group in attendance. Individual lockers, separate hooks and shelves or other containers, placed at children’s reaching level, shall be provided for the belongings of each child, infant - preschool. In infant/toddler rooms, equipment and space shall be provided for climbing, crawling, and pulling without the restraint of playpens or cribs.”

Daycare injuries like fractures, choking, burns, auto accidents and being left in a hot bus or van can be prevented.

If these tragedies occur, seek the advice of an experienced daycare injury attorney.