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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 or mechanical restraint. 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.

Emotional Abuse at Daycares

As a parent, leaving your child at a daycare facility can be hard. It’s also difficult to trust that others will take good care of your child. Furthermore, although parents everywhere hope their fears of abuse and neglect have no base, daycare abuse is fairly common. While employees of a facility may not physically abuse your child, emotional abuse can also be damaging.  It can result in children bearing trauma for a lifetime.

Additionally, if your child is suffering abuse as a result of treatment from daycare employees, those responsible must be held accountable. Of course, your first priority will be getting your child to a safe environment.  However, you should also contact a Seattle daycare abuse lawyer.

At Premier Law Group, we can help you get the justice you and your child deserve.  We will also fight for full and fair compensation.  This is to help cover the future counseling, medical bills, and trauma suffered by you, your child, and your family.

Forms of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can also take many forms.  However, some of the more common ways this can occur are as follows.

  • Ignoring the child
  • Belittling a child, especially when other people are around
  • Terrorizing the child
  • Rejecting the child
  • Being overly critical of the child
  • Bullying the child
  • Keeping the child isolated
  • Locking the child in dark or cramped rooms or closets
  • Neglecting the child

While emotional abuse can occur on its own, it often occurs alongside other forms of abuse as well.  Abusers also use this as a way of making sure the child will “keep quiet.”

The Signs of Child Emotional Abuse

Signs of emotional abuse can also be harder to detect than physical abuse.  Without visible bruises, welts, or other markings, it can be hard to recognize. However, those who know what to look for can spot the signs. Common indicators of such abuse include:

  • Difficulty sleeping or bedwetting
  • Mood swings and personality changes
  • A loss of interest in activities or games
  • Sudden onset of nightmares
  • Excessive fear or aggressive behavior
  • Suddenly becoming secretive
  • Speech disorders or not speaking
  • Anxiety or fear of having done something bad or wrong
  • Self-destructive behavior and comments
  • Absence of healthy love and affection for you as parents
  • Refusal to engage with other children
  • Excessive shyness

Feelings of isolation are also a common result of this abuse. In many cases, it involves a feeling of betrayal as well. No child should have to deal with these emotions and sensations.

Who Is At Fault For Daycare Abuse?

Despite the wide range of daycare facilities available, such as institution-based centers, home care, camps, and preschools, the fault usually falls on any of the three guilty parties.

  • An individual responsible for the care of your child
  • The employee of an entity that cares for your child
  • The institution itself for negligent policies regarding the hiring and supervision of staff.

An experienced daycare abuse attorney can investigate the abuse of a child.  At Premier Law Group, we can also determine who can be held responsible for harming your child and take legal action as well.

What Do I Do If My Child Is Experiencing Daycare Abuse?

If you suspect your child is suffering from emotional abuse, it’s always better to take action right away.  Additionally, the following steps are the best way to go about taking action:

  • Remove the child from the abusive environment right away
  • File a complaint with the Washington State Department of Children,Youth & Families, who can then investigate the facility and take legal action as needed.
  • Speak with friends and family about whether they have noticed the same changes in your child. Be sure to record notes as legal evidence.
  • Speak with the parents of other children at the facility.  Collect information about whether they notice similar changes in their own children.
  • Contact a daycare abuse attorney to help investigate and review your situation.

At Premier Law Group, our daycare abuse attorneys will handle filing a civil lawsuit to recover damages to compensate your family.  We want your family to recover from the emotional damage as well.

What if My Child’s Daycare Improperly Gave My Child Medicine?

If a daycare provider has given your child improper medication and they are suffering harm as a result, you can turn to the legal system for help. Call Premier Law Group to speak with one of our Seattle child injury attorneys.  We’ll provide a free case review and answer any questions you have about your situation. Call 206.285.1743 today.

Washington Laws on Medication in Daycares

Washington State Legislature has many laws regarding the use, administration, and storage of medication in daycares. Section WAC 110-300-0215 states the following.

  • The policy for managing medications must include:
    • Safe storage
    • Reasonable accommodations for giving medication
    • Mandatory documentation
  • Daycare staff cannot give medications to a child if they have not successfully completed an orientation about policies and procedures, as well as a training course in administration, or equivalent training
  • Daycare staff must not give medication to a child without written and signed consent from that child’s parent or guardian
  • They must administer medication according to the directions on the label
  • They must use appropriate and clean measuring devices
  • Prescription medication must be given only to the child whose name is on the label
  • Any prescription medications should be prescribed by a healthcare provider with prescriptive authority for a specific child
  • Prescription medication must come with an authorization form that lists the medical use and possible side effects
  • Prescription medication must be labeled with:
    • The child’s first and last name.
    • The date the prescription was filled last.
    • The contact information of the prescribing health professional.
    • An expiration date, dosage amount, and length of time for the medication.
    • Instructions for administration and storage.
  • Nonprescription medications brought in by a parent or guardian should be in the original packaging
  • Over-the-counter medication needs to have the child’s first and last name on it. It should also have an authorization form that has:
    • the expiration date
    • medical need
    • dosage amount
    • age
    • length of time to give the medication.
  • Daycare staff must follow the instructions on the label unless a parent provides a note from a medical professional stating otherwise.
  • Over-the-counter medications should be given only to the child whose name is on the label provided by the parent or guardian.

What Do These Laws Mean?

These laws are in place to ensure that children will not be given medication when they do not need it.  They also ensure that proper dosages are given to the children who need them. When daycare improper medication happens, it is a violation of state law. Whenever a daycare disregards state law or allows a child to suffer harm, they can be liable for the child’s injury in a court of law.

For instance, if a young child in daycare is able to open a medicine cabinet and swallows a handful of pills and has to go to the hospital, the daycare was negligent. Additionally, if daycare staff knowingly administers medication to a child when they do not need it, just to calm the child down, that’s a form of abuse.  This is a chemical restraint which may be grounds for a personal injury claim.

Children can become extremely hurt by daycare improper medication. They can overdose, or receive medication they are allergic to.  This could result in rashes, and vomiting, or send them into anaphylactic shock as well. The wrong medication can also cause lifelong damage.

Speak to Our Seattle 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.