Child brain injuries are most likely to occur in two main situations: after traumatic births or in automobile accidents. Though less common, drownings remain another way that some area children suffer permanent, and even fatal, brain injuries. While the Chicago winter is not yet over, and the summer swimming season still month away, our Illinois brain injury attorneys believe that it is never a bad time to remind local families about the dangers of having any sort of water around unsupervised children.
Swimming pools, ponds, rivers, and lakes are obviously the most likely locations for child drowning accidents to occur. But there are others. For example, the Indy Star reported last week on the tragic drowning of a one-year old child in a baptismal font. The one year old boy, Juan Cardenas, was supposed to be under the care of day-care workers at the Praise Fellowship Assembly of God church. However, according to the information that is currently available, it does not seem that those care workers were providing a close eye on the child.
At one point during the day a therapist had arrived at the facility to begin a session with Juan. It was at that point that day-care workers first noticed that he was missing. A search ensued, and the child was eventually found in the baptismal font. The font was a body of water that was only two-feet deep. However, that was enough to cause immense damage for the one-year old boy. When he was found he was rushed to a local hospital where doctors did all that they could to try to save him. Unfortunately, he ultimately passed away as a result of a severe brain injury. As is the case in drownings, the brain injury was caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain as a result of being underwater for a prolonged period of time.
It is an unspeakable loss for the family and community. Making the situation even more heartbreaking is the fact that the accident could undoubtedly have been prevented had those charged with caring for the boy acted appropriately.
In fact, those looking into the situation have already uncovered some troubling evidence about the day care center’s history of providing proper care to the 30 to 35 children that they watch each day. Only three months ago the facility was cited by inspectors for caregiving lapses. Food at the facility was expired, high-chairs were found without proper safety restraints, and similar problems were identified. Of course, this indicates that there may not have been an adequate level of focus on child safety at this church.
Our child drowning lawyers know that these church day care centers are not required to abide by the same level of safety regulations as regular licensed facilities. However, that does not mean that they owe no duty to those in their care. The common law still requires that these facilities act appropriately in the care they provide to children and their families. When they fail to meet those reasonable standards, they can and should be held accountable for their negligence. It is only in this way that changes can be demanded which will ensure future children are spared.
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