In recent news, Little Friends Daycare, an in-home daycare, out of Fairway, Kansas was shut down on Friday, March 12, 2009 after it was discovered that the operator, Lynde Ann Price had five infants in her home the previous day exceeding state limitations. A daycare provider in Kansas cannot have more than 3 infants at one time.
One of the infants was found crying in a bathroom. Another infant was found alone in a bedroom with the door closed, still in a car seat and covered in blankets. Ms. Price admitted that she had forgotten that the child was in that room.
The daycare was shut down temporarily by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which called for immediate suspension of the day care's registration, which it felt was necessary to protect children's health and safety.
Many of us work and as a consequence, have to leave our child in someone else's care. When we leave our children at a daycare or anywhere else, we expect our child to be taken care of, supervised, and safe. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Injuries are one of the top health issues for children. Children over the age of one area at a greater risk of suffering injury than children under the age of one. Children under the age of five are at the greatest risk of suffering serious injury from a fall than from other accidents while at day care.
We cannot expect that minor accidents and injuries will not occur; however, injuries that occur due to lack of supervision in a daycare is unacceptable and unfortunately is one of the leading causes of child injuries and accidents.
Simple steps can be taken, though, to reduce the risk of child injuries in daycares. Children should be within eyesight or closer at all times. The daycare should be safety proof and obvious dangers should be removed. Safety precautions will reduce the potential for child injuries; however, direct supervision can offer the greatest reduction in child injuries.
Although mandatory laws and safety requirements are in place for daycare centers to abide by, it does not guarantee that a daycare follows those laws. A two-month nationwide daycare safety performed in 1990 revealed that 556 children out of 138,404 sustained injuries that required medical attention. The most common injuries were cuts and lacerations and bumps or bruises. More than 50% of all fractures and concussions sustained were caused by falls from climbing equipment.
Don't be afraid to ask your home daycare provider how many children they are watching on a regular basis, how many they will watch at any given time, what child proofing they have done in their home, what kind of play equipment they use, and any other questions you deem important for your child's safety. You have the right to know. You should be able to feel as comfortable as possible when leaving your child in the care of another.