Dropping your child off at daycare for the first time is a rite of passage for a lot of Americans. For many families, it’s almost impossible to get by without two paychecks, so both mom and dad work. And, for single parents, daycare is often the only option for childcare while at work.
There is an element of trust whenever we leave our children in another’s care. With friends and family this is difficult enough, but we have known and trusted those people for years. For the average day care facility, all we can do is ask around, read reviews, cross our fingers, and hope that those in charge will not hurt or neglect the person who matters most to us in all the world.
Sometimes that trust is unwarranted, as was the case in Georgia where three day care workers neglected to take a child to the hospital for severe burns. The three told the child’s mother that it was nothing but a bug bite, and so all they did was rub ointment on the area and leave the child’s medical needs untended for eight hours. Eight hours.
The three have been arrested after an investigation revealed the injury was likely caused by hot water or oil. Though this one dangerous day care has been dealt with, there are sadly many more still out there in operation, which are never brought to the forefront. If you take your child to daycare, make sure you:
- Talk to your child each day to find out what he or she did during the day.
- Watch for any changes in personality that might indicate something is wrong.
- Look for unexplained injuries, especially while bathing your child.
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions of day care staff if anything remotely strange happens.
It is up to us to protect our children and our community’s children. Sometimes, as in Georgia, the incident rises to the level of criminal charges, and the authorities make sure that no other children are harmed. Sometimes it is up to us to take the next step ourselves. If your child has been injured or neglected at daycare, pulling your child from the program is not enough. You might need a lawyer to help you intervene and protect not just your own children but all the others who are at risk.