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Daycare restraints being used in a daycare hurting kids

All children misbehave at some point. They may not want to share a toy, or throw a tantrum because they don’t like what’s for lunch. Daycare staff need to know how to handle these situations. However, many daycares do not provide their staff with the training for dealing with a misbehaving child. As such, the situation can escalate until a child ends up in daycare restraints.

Unfortunately, this may also happen when a child is not misbehaving at all.  This could happen when the child is simply being energetic. Unnecessary restraint is unacceptable, and can be considered a form of daycare child abuse.

If your child has suffered due to daycare restraints, contact Premier Law Group. Our attorneys can help you with your claim against the daycare and/or staff members responsible. Call 206.285.1743 today to begin your free case review.

What Is A Restraint?

A restraint is anything that prevents a person from moving freely, or using one’s body.

Daycare staff may use restraints to subdue a child, or curb undesirable behavior. In an ideal situation, a restraint would only be necessary temporarily, in order to keep a child from hurting themselves or others. However, frustrated caregivers, who do not know how to manage a child’s behavior, are using restraints more frequently.

Types of Restraints

Physical/Mechanical Restraints

The first type of restraint, which most people likely think of, is a physical ormechanical restraint.A physical restraint is when a person, such as a daycare employee, physically restrains a child with their body.  Restraints such as straps on a chair or bed may be considered physical or mechanical. Daycares often claim that restraints were necessary because a child was not cooperating, or became violent and threatened the safety of others.

Chemical Restraints

Chemical restraints are not as well known. Daycare staff may give these medicines to children to calm them down.  They are usually taken orally, though sometimes with an injection. While daycare centers sometimes insist that a child was hysterical and that sedation was necessary, there is no excuse for giving a child medication without the parents’ consent.


Seclusion is a type of restraint that removes a child from other people. Oftentimes, a child is kept in a room alone, where the door may be locked.  This is to make sure the child cannot leave. However, any time a child is in a room, even as a punishment, there should be a teacher or staff member there to supervise.

The improper use of daycare restraints can result in severe injuries. Furthermore, children with disabilities are even more at risk. Children may not understand what’s happening when physical restraints are used, which could lead to aggressive behavior and result in serious injury.

Additionally, young children are often unable to tell their parents that they were put in restraints. As such, parents rarely hear about when their children have been in restraints.  At Premier Law Group, we recommend parents be observant and ask questions. Furthemore, our daycare attorneys can help inform you about what to look for.

Washington Law on Daycare Restraints

Washington State Legislature does have policy about physical restraints in a daycare setting.

Section 110-300-0335 states that:

  • Daycare centers must have written physical restraint protocols and implement such protocols only when appropriate.
  • Physical restraint be used only if a child’s safety is threatened, or the safety of others
  • Physical restraint must be:
    • Limited to holding children as gently as possible to restrain them
    • Limited to the minimum amount of time necessary to restrain them
    • Developmentally appropriate
  • Items including but not limited to ties, blankets, straps, car seats, high chairs, or heavy weights (including an adult sitting on a child) may not be used to physically restrain children
  • Daycare staff and employees must remove themselves from a situation if they sense a loss of their own self-control and concern for the child when using a restraint technique if another early learning provider is present
  • Daycare staff must step in when another staff member is using restraint techniques inappropriately

The bottom line is that daycares do not have a right to restrain your child without just cause.

How Negligence Comes into Play

Jason Epstein and Patrick Kang, expert personal injury lawyers in Seattle Bellevue Renton and Federal Way

Negligence, in a daycare setting, generally means taking action that another professional caregiver in the same situation would not take.  For instance, giving a hyperactive child an un-prescribed drug to calm them down, which then results in serious side effects. The owner of a daycare center may be liable in this situation if they did not train their staff to deal with a behavioral situation correctly.  The owner or their staff may also be liable if the center enables or ignores the use of restraints. The staff member may also be responsible for any injuries.

Speak to Our Washington Daycare Abuse Lawyers

If you believe your child has suffered from daycare restraints, contact Premier Law Group. Our Seattle lawyers want to help you and your child receive full and fair compensation for any injuries and emotional damage caused by the restraint. We know there is nothing more important than protecting your children, so call 206.285.1743 today. There is no legal fee unless we win your case.