Default Style Register
Daycare.com Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Injury Policy?
DaycareMama 09:30 PM 11-06-2010
Just wondering what everyone has as far as an injury policy?! How do you state it in your contract?
I had an interview with a mom who's child is very "fragile" due to medical reasons. It is very easy for the child to break bones. This honestly makes me nervous. I will always do my best to make sure nothing happens. BUT what if it does and its as simple as a little fall? How can I protect myself and my family legally? I do not currently have daycare insurance. I would love to find an affordable company but in the mean time is it wrong, not even legal or unthinkable to put in some kind of clause that relieves me of any possible lawsuit or financial backlash god for bid something happens? Or medical bills?
OR....... How can I comfortably deny this family if I decide its to much??
ANY advice would be great, Thanks
Reply
Lucy 01:02 AM 11-07-2010
I don't have any advice on how you can protect yourself. If it were me, I would not take this child. Not really for the liability reasons, but just because I would feel horrible if someone got hurt on my watch.

As far as denying the family... that's just as easy as saying you interviewed several families for the spot, and another child was a better fit. Don't ever feel bad for turning someone down.
Reply
Crystal 10:54 AM 11-07-2010
I think you should be able to put a clause in your contract:

Based on (child's name) medical condition of (name here) Provider assumes no liability should injury, related to said medical condition, occur while child is in care. Provider will take all precautions to avoid any injury and to accomodate child's special needs as is reasonably feasible.

Have the parent initial this space in the contract.

I'd be careful about turning the client away, as it could be considered discrimination and against ADA requirements. You COULD say another person filled the spot, but only if that's true.
Reply
SilverSabre25 10:58 AM 11-07-2010
Originally Posted by Crystal:
I think you should be able to put a clause in your contract:

Based on (child's name) medical condition of (name here) Provider assumes no liability should injury, related to said medical condition, occur while child is in care. Provider will take all precautions to avoid any injury and to accomodate child's special needs as is reasonably feasible.

Have the parent initial this space in the contract.

I'd be careful about turning the client away, as it could be considered discrimination and against ADA requirements. You COULD say another person filled the spot, but only if that's true.

Ditto all of this
Reply
QualiTcare 01:57 PM 11-07-2010
you should really try to get some legal advice. laws are different in every state, but for the most part, if someone gets hurt on your property - you're liable, period.

think about it - if everyone could have a clause in their contract instead of paying for insurance - that's what everyone would do bc they'd save a lot of money! they don't though bc it still doesn't protect them.

i always thought field trip permission forms that said, "you're giving your permission and we're not liable if anything happens, etc, etc" were valid and would protect teachers if something happened on a field trip. wrooooong. i was told to still get them signed to prove parents knew their child was going somewhere, but other than that, they aren't worth the paper they're written on.

i could be wrong and there might be a way to get around it, but i'd def. get a professional opinion.
Reply
Lucy 02:49 PM 11-07-2010
Originally Posted by Crystal:

I'd be careful about turning the client away, as it could be considered discrimination and against ADA requirements. You COULD say another person filled the spot, but only if that's true.
I suppose so, if you want to get technical. I've had someone call about taking a child with CP in a wheelchair, and I just said I've never had anyone with medical problems before, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not really comfortable with it. They said they completely understood. I think if you're up front and say that you don't really feel comfortable about taking a medically fragile child, what parent would WANT you to watch them anyway? You're not saying "NO, I won't take your child because they are handicapped" ... you are merely saying it makes you uncomfortable and then the parent would realize you're not a good fit for them.
Reply
Abigail 02:49 PM 11-07-2010
How old is this child? Has this child been in daycare before or gone to a preschool before? If you can, I would ask for their contact information (name/number) and call and see how that child was in their care. I know people have done this when they get children who were kicked out from another daycare to get the right facts before enrolling them. I would find that acceptable. Chances are though they will tell you it has just been family watching the child and I wouldn't want to rock that boat.

Can you ask for the child's Dr's name and number and ask what exactly the child's condition is? It might make you feel better. Just be honest with the parent and tell them that you would feel more comfortable asking the child's Dr. a few questions. If you do feel the child is not the right fit, don't feel bad to do the general "Your child will not be a good fit for our daycare" because it could be the needed hours, days, age, etc. Don't focus so much on the fragile part. Maybe he came from a rough daycare and got pushed around a lot, etc, and if your age group and kids are calmer it will be fine. Have you asked the parents what has happened to him to far to get hurt, what injuries he has already had, and if he was diagnosed with anything???? Make sure to get the facts. It is your right to know as his provider.
Reply
Lucy 02:50 PM 11-07-2010
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
you should really try to get some legal advice. laws are different in every state, but for the most part, if someone gets hurt on your property - you're liable, period.

think about it - if everyone could have a clause in their contract instead of paying for insurance - that's what everyone would do bc they'd save a lot of money! they don't though bc it still doesn't protect them.

i always thought field trip permission forms that said, "you're giving your permission and we're not liable if anything happens, etc, etc" were valid and would protect teachers if something happened on a field trip. wrooooong. i was told to still get them signed to prove parents knew their child was going somewhere, but other than that, they aren't worth the paper they're written on.

i could be wrong and there might be a way to get around it, but i'd def. get a professional opinion.
Agree completely. Those waiver forms are worth nothing except for the fact that the parents can't say they weren't told there would be a trip. Other than that, you CAN be sued if an injury occurs and it is found that you were in any way negligent (which can be any little technicality).
Reply
Abigail 03:00 PM 11-07-2010
Originally Posted by Joyce:
Agree completely. Those waiver forms are worth nothing except for the fact that the parents can't say they weren't told there would be a trip. Other than that, you CAN be sued if an injury occurs and it is found that you were in any way negligent (which can be any little technicality).
OMG, I never knew that! Hopefully I will have wonderful, honest, understanding parents.
Reply
MyAngels 07:17 PM 11-07-2010
Originally Posted by Joyce:
Agree completely. Those waiver forms are worth nothing except for the fact that the parents can't say they weren't told there would be a trip. Other than that, you CAN be sued if an injury occurs and it is found that you were in any way negligent (which can be any little technicality).
You cannot sign away your child's rights, no matter what the release form says. I was told this by a friend of mine who is also an attorney when my kids were smaller and I was concerned about signing a release form for a rock climbing place.
Reply
BentleysBands 05:05 AM 11-08-2010
my only advice is to look into insurance. whether for this child or anyone other child. its good to have
Reply
misol 10:45 AM 11-08-2010
Originally Posted by Abigail:
How old is this child? Has this child been in daycare before or gone to a preschool before? If you can, I would ask for their contact information (name/number) and call and see how that child was in their care. I know people have done this when they get children who were kicked out from another daycare to get the right facts before enrolling them. I would find that acceptable. Chances are though they will tell you it has just been family watching the child and I wouldn't want to rock that boat.

Can you ask for the child's Dr's name and number and ask what exactly the child's condition is? It might make you feel better. Just be honest with the parent and tell them that you would feel more comfortable asking the child's Dr. a few questions. If you do feel the child is not the right fit, don't feel bad to do the general "Your child will not be a good fit for our daycare" because it could be the needed hours, days, age, etc. Don't focus so much on the fragile part. Maybe he came from a rough daycare and got pushed around a lot, etc, and if your age group and kids are calmer it will be fine. Have you asked the parents what has happened to him to far to get hurt, what injuries he has already had, and if he was diagnosed with anything???? Make sure to get the facts. It is your right to know as his provider.
I think that this is good advice. Even after you talk to the doctor, I would still ask the doctor for something in writing stating what (if anything)the child has been diagnosed with and what can be done so as not to exacerbate her condition. If the Dr. won't give anything have the parents give you something in writing regarding her being fragile and what steps they would like you to take to prevent injury. At least if something were to happen, you have it documented that the child is prone to broken bones, etc. Personally, I would keep interviewing until I found a better fit.

My contract states that parents assume financial responsiblility for all injuries or illnesses sustained while in my care. Whether you have liability insurance or not, wouldn't the parents still have to prove that you were somehow negligent? I would think that this is where having a doctor's note would work in your favor (unless, of course, the provider was truly negligent).
Reply
misol 10:47 AM 11-08-2010
Originally Posted by Abigail:
How old is this child? Has this child been in daycare before or gone to a preschool before? If you can, I would ask for their contact information (name/number) and call and see how that child was in their care. I know people have done this when they get children who were kicked out from another daycare to get the right facts before enrolling them. I would find that acceptable. Chances are though they will tell you it has just been family watching the child and I wouldn't want to rock that boat.

Can you ask for the child's Dr's name and number and ask what exactly the child's condition is? It might make you feel better. Just be honest with the parent and tell them that you would feel more comfortable asking the child's Dr. a few questions. If you do feel the child is not the right fit, don't feel bad to do the general "Your child will not be a good fit for our daycare" because it could be the needed hours, days, age, etc. Don't focus so much on the fragile part. Maybe he came from a rough daycare and got pushed around a lot, etc, and if your age group and kids are calmer it will be fine. Have you asked the parents what has happened to him to far to get hurt, what injuries he has already had, and if he was diagnosed with anything???? Make sure to get the facts. It is your right to know as his provider.

I think that this is good advice. Even after you talk to the doctor, I would still ask the doctor for something in writing stating what (if anything)the child has been diagnosed with and what can be done so as not to exacerbate her condition. If the Dr. won't give anything have the parents give you something in writing regarding her being fragile and what steps they would like you to take to prevent injury. At least if something were to happen, you have it documented that the child is prone to broken bones, etc. Personally, I would keep interviewing until I found a better fit.

My contract states that parents assume financial responsiblility for all injuries or illnesses sustained while in my care. Whether you have liability insurance or not, wouldn't the parents still have to prove that you were somehow negligent? I would think that this is where having a doctor's note would work in your favor (unless, of course, the provider was truly negligent).
Reply
laundrymom 10:52 AM 11-08-2010
I think I would be honest with the mom,.. I would tell her that you are afraid that being in your big energetic group that the child would be hurt? just from routine play,... I would suggest to her to find a group that has limited energetic activities or one where she would be the oldest in attendance. to limit the physical contact that the kids in your group display? Mom is probaby as scared as you about it. Ask her what her expectations are, does she expect you to limit her activity? her active play? the active play of the others in care. Explain that yours is a very fast paced, in depth play based care facility and you are not sure how she would fit into you mix of kids? find out what she is looking for in a child care situation,.. then help her find that.... even if its not with you?
Reply
QualiTcare 11:28 AM 11-08-2010
Originally Posted by misol:
I think that this is good advice. Even after you talk to the doctor, I would still ask the doctor for something in writing stating what (if anything)the child has been diagnosed with and what can be done so as not to exacerbate her condition. If the Dr. won't give anything have the parents give you something in writing regarding her being fragile and what steps they would like you to take to prevent injury. At least if something were to happen, you have it documented that the child is prone to broken bones, etc. Personally, I would keep interviewing until I found a better fit.

My contract states that parents assume financial responsiblility for all injuries or illnesses sustained while in my care. Whether you have liability insurance or not, wouldn't the parents still have to prove that you were somehow negligent? I would think that this is where having a doctor's note would work in your favor (unless, of course, the provider was truly negligent).
well, i see your point, but it's not hard to prove negligence when a child gets hurt in the care of a person whose job it is to watch them and keep them safe. my daughter had dirt thrown in her eyes at daycare one time by this hellian kid for no apparent reason. the kid said her name and when she looked up - eyes wide open - she threw dirt right in her face. i can't even describe it, but it was horrible. it was like she had no whites in her eyeballs - they were COVERED in dirt. the director was freaking out and telling me to take her to the ER, but i ended up not having to. when we spoke afterward, she said if i did take her that they would have to pay the bill (which she didn't mind) because technically the teacher should've been able to prevent it - even though i know it wasn't her fault - it could be considered negligent bc she got hurt in their care. she said they had to pay the bill anytime a parent took a child to the doctor bc of an injury that happened at daycare. there was a child who had seizures and that made everyone a nervous wreck. even though his parents, doctors, and everyone knew he had seizures and got bruises, bloody noses, etc. because of his medical condition - the daycare still would've had to pay if he busted his head and the parent chose to go to the doctor. it's very risky not to have insurance, but esp. for a kid prone to injuries.
Reply
misol 10:02 PM 11-08-2010
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
well, i see your point, but it's not hard to prove negligence when a child gets hurt in the care of a person whose job it is to watch them and keep them safe. my daughter had dirt thrown in her eyes at daycare one time by this hellian kid for no apparent reason. the kid said her name and when she looked up - eyes wide open - she threw dirt right in her face. i can't even describe it, but it was horrible. it was like she had no whites in her eyeballs - they were COVERED in dirt. the director was freaking out and telling me to take her to the ER, but i ended up not having to. when we spoke afterward, she said if i did take her that they would have to pay the bill (which she didn't mind) because technically the teacher should've been able to prevent it - even though i know it wasn't her fault - it could be considered negligent bc she got hurt in their care. she said they had to pay the bill anytime a parent took a child to the doctor bc of an injury that happened at daycare. there was a child who had seizures and that made everyone a nervous wreck. even though his parents, doctors, and everyone knew he had seizures and got bruises, bloody noses, etc. because of his medical condition - the daycare still would've had to pay if he busted his head and the parent chose to go to the doctor. it's very risky not to have insurance, but esp. for a kid prone to injuries.
Ouch! I am very sorry that happened to your daughter. Although I would be livid, I am not sure how the teacher would have been able to prevent this from happening. Even if she was sitting there watching 2 kids playing in the dirt together she had no way of anticipating that one child would throw dirt in another child's face. Another example is if a child in your care falls on the playground and breaks their arm. As long as the equpiment was age-appropriate and the provider was properly supervising, that's not negligence. Sometimes injuries are truly just bad accidents. If this is not the case then maybe I just don't have a true understanding of the meaning of negligence.

When a parent takes their kid to any place where there are other kids around and there is physical activity involved (daycare, school, park, skating rink, etc.) they have to understand that there is some increased risk of injury.

Might get flamed for this but I think that sometimes (not always) when a person/entity offers to pay medical expenses it's a hopeful attempt to avoid being sued. 1) The parents appreciate the gesture and 2)it's cheaper to pay the doctor's bill than to pay attorney's bill.

I am lucky enough to have had parents who trust me and have been totally understanding when their child was injured in my care. Although they may be understandably upset, reasonable parents know that when children are at play, accidents happen. The bottom line though is that yes, it is better to have liability insurance than not!
Reply
QualiTcare 10:47 PM 11-08-2010
Originally Posted by misol:
Ouch! I am very sorry that happened to your daughter. Although I would be livid, I am not sure how the teacher would have been able to prevent this from happening. Even if she was sitting there watching 2 kids playing in the dirt together she had no way of anticipating that one child would throw dirt in another child's face. Another example is if a child in your care falls on the playground and breaks their arm. As long as the equpiment was age-appropriate and the provider was properly supervising, that's not negligence. Sometimes injuries are truly just bad accidents. If this is not the case then maybe I just don't have a true understanding of the meaning of negligence.

When a parent takes their kid to any place where there are other kids around and there is physical activity involved (daycare, school, park, skating rink, etc.) they have to understand that there is some increased risk of injury.

Might get flamed for this but I think that sometimes (not always) when a person/entity offers to pay medical expenses it's a hopeful attempt to avoid being sued. 1) The parents appreciate the gesture and 2)it's cheaper to pay the doctor's bill than to pay attorney's bill.

I am lucky enough to have had parents who trust me and have been totally understanding when their child was injured in my care. Although they may be understandably upset, reasonable parents know that when children are at play, accidents happen. The bottom line though is that yes, it is better to have liability insurance than not!
that may not have sounded right - i didn't blame the teacher. i was quoting the director.

"when we spoke afterward, she said if i did take her that they would have to pay the bill (which she didn't mind) because technically the teacher should've been able to prevent it - even though i know it wasn't her fault - it could be considered negligent bc she got hurt in their care."

i worked at the daycare when it happened (in another room) and they were freaking out when i got to her, urging me to take her to the ER. i was a nervous wreck with people yelling, "you need take her now!" but all i was thinking is if i took her, she'd be suffering during the long jog to the car and the car ride when i could probably fix it on the spot myself much faster- which i did thankfully.

but yeah, she didn't have to worry about me personally trying to sue or anything crazy, but it probably is easier (and a lot less painful) in general to just pay the bill if a child does go to the doctor because in the end - the person providing care for the child is going to be held responsible if something happens to them. it might not be "fair" but it wouldn't be fair to the parent who wasn't even there to have to pay either really. that was their philosophy anyway which made sense to me. the whole conversation came up bc i was saying if i did have to take her - the parents of the child who did it should have to pay - not the daycare. but then of course the parents of that child would say, "weren't you watching her? how could you not have stopped it?" it's not fair for the daycare to pay, but the victim's parents certainly shouldn't have to. it's just too complicated. it's ridiculous that if a kid you don't know falls in your pool you can be held liable if you don't have a fence (cus they shouldn't be on you property anyway) or if they get hurt on your swingset - well, it's your fault bc it's "an attractive nuisance." so, yeah, definitely better to have insurance. based on my record, i could do without car insurance if i just had to worry about myself - it's all the people around me that i don't trust!
Reply
Barb 02:34 PM 03-03-2012
Originally Posted by DaycareMama:
Just wondering what everyone has as far as an injury policy?! How do you state it in your contract?
I had an interview with a mom who's child is very "fragile" due to medical reasons. It is very easy for the child to break bones. This honestly makes me nervous. I will always do my best to make sure nothing happens. BUT what if it does and its as simple as a little fall? How can I protect myself and my family legally? I do not currently have daycare insurance. I would love to find an affordable company but in the mean time is it wrong, not even legal or unthinkable to put in some kind of clause that relieves me of any possible lawsuit or financial backlash god for bid something happens? Or medical bills?
OR....... How can I comfortably deny this family if I decide its to much??
ANY advice would be great, Thanks
I dont think there is a legal clause stating that you can not refuse child care to a parent's child. Unless you are able to staff and equip your home day care to accommoodate this child, its okay to deny a family based on what your day care can or can not accomodate. Simply explaining this to the parent/parents that you are unable to accommodate their child, due to the fact that caring for this child needs special attention and possibly special equipment, it will take away the attention and care needed for the other children. This is an honest professional answer. Its always good to have some resources available of other daycare facilities who can accomodate children with physical impairments. This way you can refer the parent to them.
Reply
Mom&Provider 07:32 AM 03-04-2012
If it were me, I wouldn't take on this child. There are too many issues that could arise here that are not preventable. What if another child pushes this child or what happens if this child simply trips over their own feet while out for a walk? These are things that happen to kids, regardless of how watchful the provider is...they are kids after all!

It would make me very nervous something would happen to this child on my watch, insurance or not, I would decline them stating someone else was a better fit.
Reply
Tags:injury, injury policy, policy
Reply Up