In Pittsburgh, Marcia Posten, 10-month-old was found unresponsive in a private home day care setting. News stories report there was a 20-year-old adult responsible for child care at the time of the incident. Allegedly, a seven-year-old child in the daycare threw the infant to the floor twice. Marcia died at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The day care was licensed to enroll six children.  

Child caregivers appreciate that behavioral attributes of children contribute to the risk of injury to varying degrees. Children with behavioral characteristics that are difficult to manage are at an increased risk for injury, and causing injury to others, as compared to their more docile children.  

There are some recent studies that demonstrate when caregiver supervision is not adjusted to meet the behavioral needs of an active child then the risk for injury in a childcare setting is increased. Therefore certain child attributes call for an adjustment in the intensity of caregiver supervision.  

Studies show that caregiver supervision and an effective strategy that keeps the child in the caregiver’s view reduces the frequency of injury. It is also known that a lapse in supervision where the child is not in view correlates with a higher incidence of child injury. This may seem to be an obvious statement. However, even if the caregiver is highly conscientious there remains an increased risk for injury during intervals when the child is not in view. So whether a child caregiver is regarded as highly conscientious or not-highly conscientious, the risk for injury to a child is still higher when the child is not in the view of the caregiver.  

Close supervision contributes directly to reduced events of injury. And while passive devices and enhanced environmental safety precautions do much to protect children from injury, keeping the child in view is still a necessary component in the child day care setting. This is because keeping the child in view allows for the added feature of foresight on the part of the caregiver while providing child care services. Effective foresight facilitates anticipation of risk and execution of appropriate response by the caregiver in a given situation.

Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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