Baby Proofing To Prevent Daycare Negligence
New parents are overwhelmed with and inundated by a barrage of information, advice, and opinions, a lot of which arrives even before their bundle of joy makes it earth-side. Everyone has their own opinions, and everyone parents differently, but some things should not be compromised. A child’s safety is at the top of that list, and at Wagner Reese, we are painfully aware of the vast array of injuries Indiana children sustain each year, and the negligence they are often subjected to by their caregivers.
One author and pediatrician recently shared with us her list of top 5 threats to children that parents often overlook. Her list included cleaning supplies that are kept in secondary locations (noting that most parents lock up the ones under the sink, but forget about the ones in the garage or an upstairs bathroom), toys of older children and unsuitable playground equipment (items that babies and young children are not ready to tackle), purses and handbags (noting that parents often leave their bags in the floor or on a chair, and bags often contain things like sewing kits, medication, toxic makeup items, sharp nail files, etc), toxic plants (while many plants that are labeled as “toxic” won’t give more than a stomach ache, some in your house and yard could result in serious poisoning if ingested), & laundry and dishwasher pods (we shared the dangers of these pods last year – over 17,000 children ingested or were injured by these pods in 2012/2013).
We wanted to talk about this topic a bit, not to remind you just to babyproof your home, but as a reminder to do a thorough investigation of your childcare and daycare providers. When it comes to your children, it never hurts to be too thorough. After recent stories like the drugging of the children at Stephanie Gribble’s in-home care center, and so many other stories of children who have suffered the consequences of a neglectful care provider, we know parents can’t be too careful.
When searching for a new child care provider, these pediatricians offered tips are great reminders of things to check – think outside the box and make sure the location you choose is completely childproof. In a facility where the child-to-provider ratio is much larger than in your own home, it’s impossible for caregivers to watch each child at every moment. Ensuring that they are in a safe location is one way you can help protect your kids, even when you aren’t around.
Don’t be afraid to show up unannounced to a childcare center, and see what things are really like at that facility when parents aren’t around. Also, ask to be given a tour of the entire facility, all the places where the children will be, and all the places they could wander into if unattended. Search for potential hazards and don’t be afraid to report a facility if they are providing sub-par care.
Take a look at our Choosing A Daycare Checklist for some great tips on finding the safest and most nurturing environment for your child this year. Share with your friends and family, and remind parents that the power to protect their kids is in their hands! Call us at (888) 204-8440 if you have questions about a daycare injury or a neglectful provider.