Physical abuse is a growing problem in many daycare centers, and while parents seek a safe environment while they work, the safety of your child unfortunately cannot be guaranteed. So what can parents do when they discover their child was physically punished at daycare?
Recognizing the Signs of Daycare Abuse
It is really quite devastating for a parent to discover that the daycare provider(s) to which they entrusted the care of their child is physically harming the child. No matter how much research you conduct, sometimes there are no obvious signs you could have foreseen. Oftentimes, the only way to discover that your child is being abused is to watch for the telltale warning signs and behavioral changes. These warning signs include:
- Behavioral changes or extreme swings in mood
- Problems in school and behavior
- Regression to behavior of infancy or clinginess
- Nighttime changes such as bed-wetting, being fearful of going to bed, nightmares, or other types of sleep disturbances
- Being afraid of certain places, activities, or people
- Overly fearful of going to the daycare center
- Inappropriate sexual activity or an interest in sexual matters that are not age appropriate
- Changes in habits related to toilet training
- Suddenly acting out or developing behavior that is aggressive or rebellious
Seeking a Medical Evaluation
Once you suspect that your child is being abused, it is important for a medical professional to examine the child. The childcare investigator will use this information in order to answer three very important questions:
- Was the injury natural or caused by a medical condition?
- Was the injury the result of an accidental action?
- Was the injury inflicted by someone or something?
Whatever statements children make to healthcare providers during their visit can possibly be admissible in court; these statements would be exceptions to the hearsay rule. Even if a child does not have the corroboration of a medical professional, it does not mean the child was not abused; likewise, the medical documentation does not ensure the charges can be proven in a court of law. In order to determine if you and your child may have a potential civil lawsuit against the abuser and/or his/her employer, you need to discuss the facts of your case with an experienced daycare abuse attorney.
Making the Report
Once the child has been evaluated by a physician, and the physician believes that there is the probability of child abuse or neglect, you need to make an official report with the appropriate state agencies (Department of Family Protective Services or CPS), file a report with law enforcement, and get in touch with a daycare abuse lawyer. Our law firm has a substantial amount of experience handling cases involving daycare abuse, and we will never charge you a penny unless we actually recover your family compensation through a settlement or trial verdict.
As part of the investigation, law enforcement needs to review any specific injuries with the medical professionals, determine the potential of those injuries being either accidental or caused by a medical condition, determine whether there may be other explanations for the injuries, and speak with the caseworker at Child Protective Services in order to assess the safety of the child.
Investigators also need to confer with a pediatrician or child abuse specialist in order to assess whether the child’s condition is the result of natural causes or an injury. It is critical for the medical professional to perform a medical examination in order to rule out any medical conditions that look like they could be caused by abuse or neglect. Being informed about a child’s medical history can help tremendously during this process.
If you wish to speak with someone about your situation (for free), call Rasansky Law Firm today at 1-877-403-9378.