A Lexington, Kentucky daycare center was shut down earlier this month after workers left a 3-year-old strapped into a carseat alone in a van for more than nine hours overnight.
The daycare driver forgot to drop off the toddler before parking the van for the night. The child was found in the van at about 2 a.m. The boy was examined by paramedics and released to his parents who took him to a doctor because he exhibited signs of dehydration. The temperatures in Lexington during the time the boy was in the van ranged from 72 to 84 degrees.
When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172.
Citing "probable cause to believe an immediate threat exists regarding the health, safety, and welfare of children," the state licensing agency ordered the daycare shut down immediately. Records show the center has been investigated 23 times in the last four years and 17 of those investigations revealed the center was out of compliance with state licensing regulations.
Prior violations include:
- Leaving children unsupervised.
- A staff member yanking a toddler off the floor by his wrist.
- Another staff member grabbing and screaming at a misbehaving child.
- Employees fighting and threatening each other.
- Driving children around without seatbelts.
- Failure to keep records on employees showing driving records and proof of basic job requirements such as having a high-school diploma or completing CPR certification.
The incident this month is not the first involving a driver at the daycare. Earlier this year the licensing agency discovered the center hired a driver who was already on the state's registry of people with substantiated histories of child neglect.
According to the most recent statistics, nearly 11 million children are in child care programs across the nation, two-thirds of infants in the United States are in child care, and more than 30 percent of those children are in child care full time.
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 19 years, representing nearly 40 percent of all deaths in this age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, nearly 9 million children and teens are treated in emergency departments for unintentional injuries and more than 9,000 die as a result of their injuries.
Every person -- adult or child -- who is injured by a wrongful act, defective device or medical negligence deserves compensation. If you suspect a loved one was harmed or died as a result of such an act, call the offices of trial attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian at 1-800-529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.