Is There Danger in an Oregon Daycare?
As a parent, your worst nightmare is seeing your child get hurt, especially while they’re in someone else’s care. In Oregon, child injuries at daycare facilities encompass a spectrum of incidents, ranging from minor accidents to more serious situations. These injuries might arise from falls, playground mishaps, inadequate supervision, faulty equipment, or interactions between children.
According to 2022 reports, there were 79,756 licensed childcare providers in Oregon, within which 217 instances of child injuries were reported. 
Potential causes of childcare center negligence include inadequate training for childcare providers, understaffing, lack of proper safety protocols, and failure to maintain a safe environment. Licensed daycares are legally obligated to provide a safe environment for children, which includes proper supervision, safety measures, and adherence to health and safety regulations.
This article provides information on the common types of daycare injuries, the actions to take if your child is injured at daycare, how to establish liability in child injuries, the criteria for filing a lawsuit, and other related topics.
Types of Injuries Commonly Seen in Daycare Centers
Childcare centers often see some common injury types, ranging from minor injuries to unexplained injuries, among children in their care. Common child injuries at daycare centers include the following:
- Allergic reactions to food or environmental allergens
- Bites or scratches from other children or animals
- Burns from hot drinks, food, or appliances
- Choking or suffocation from small toys or objects
- Cuts and scrapes from toys or sharp objects
- Falls from playground equipment or furniture
- Fractures like broken bones or sprains from rough play or accidents
- Head and neck injuries or internal injuries from falls or collisions
- Poisoning from ingesting cleaning supplies or medications
Immediate Steps to Take If Your Child is Injured at Daycare
As a parent, it’s important to be prepared for a situation where your child may get injured at daycare facilities. Knowing what actions to take in such circumstances can be vital in ensuring your child’s well-being and receiving timely medical attention. Here are some steps to take after your child is injured at a daycare facility:
- Seek Medical Help: Prioritize your child’s health. Get immediate medical care for their injuries, ensuring their well-being comes first.
- Document the Incident: Record details about the injury, including the date, time, location, and circumstances. Take photographs if possible. Collect contact information from witnesses or staff who were present during the incident.
- Notify the Daycare: Inform the daycare staff or management about the injury. Request an incident report and keep a copy for your records.
- Contact Authorities: If necessary, report the incident to the appropriate regulatory agency or authorities, such as the child protection hotline or the Oregon Department of Education Early Learning and Care. 
How Do You Prove Liability for a Child’s Injury at Daycare?
Proving criminal liability for an injured child at a daycare can be complex. To establish liability, the following steps should be considered:
- Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant evidence, such as medical records, medical bills, incident reports, and any communication records with the daycare center.
- Document Daycare Incidents: Write down a detailed account of what happened, including the location, time, and circumstances surrounding the injury. Take photographs of the injury and the place where it occurred.
- Review the Daycare’s Policies and Procedures: Examine the daycare policies and procedures to see if they were followed properly. It could include staff-to-child ratios, safety protocols, and supervision guidelines.
- Witness Statements: Obtain statements from any witnesses present when the injury occurred. It could provide additional perspectives on the incident.
- Request Daycare Records: Request access to the daycare’s records, including staff training, supervision schedules, and any previous incidents or complaints. It can help establish a pattern of childcare negligence or misconduct.
- Consult an Attorney: It’s advisable to consult personal injury lawyers, who have experience handling daycare injury cases, to negotiate with insurance companies or file a lawsuit. They can help assess the situation and determine the best course of action.
- Consider Professional Evaluations: If the injury resulted from a potential hazard or unsafe conditions at the daycare, consider seeking evaluations from relevant professionals, such as safety inspectors or medical experts.
- Establish Negligence: Proving liability involves showing that the daycare breached its duty of care, which directly resulted in the child’s injury. It requires demonstrating negligence or misconduct on the part of the daycare staff or administration.
Each case is unique, and the process of establishing liability for a child’s injury at a daycare can vary depending on the specific circumstances, making it significant to take into account the individual nature of each case.
Requirements for Filing a Lawsuit Against Daycare
Filing a lawsuit against a childcare facility involves several key requirements:
- Valid Legal Grounds: A valid legal reason must exist to file a lawsuit. It often involves demonstrating negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the daycare, such as failing to provide adequate supervision, unsafe conditions, or breaching their duty of care.
- Statute of Limitations: The Statute of Limitations may vary by state. Therefore, file within the specified period of time to avoid losing the right to seek legal action.
- Damages: There must be measurable damages resulting from the incident, such as medical expenses, ongoing treatment costs, pain and suffering, or other losses directly attributable to the daycare’s negligent actions.
- Notification and Compliance: Some jurisdictions might require notification to the daycare or relevant authorities before filing a lawsuit. Compliance with any pre-litigation requirements or alternative dispute resolution methods mandated by state laws might be necessary.
 Department of Early Learning and Care : Child Care Safety : For Families : State of Oregon. (n.d.). Child Care Safety : Department of Early Learning and Care. https://www.oregon.gov/delc/families/pages/child-care-safety.aspx