Written by attorney Donald Joseph Banovitz

A Babysitter’s Child Care Negligence Could Lead to Child Injury

Could child care negligence have caused your child’s injuries? Nothing is more traumatic for parents than to learn their child has been seriously or fatally injured. It can be especially devastating if the child’s care was entrusted to a babysitter who provided negligent care or who was abusive.

Negligent Supervision of a Child

One of the most common types of child care negligence of which a bad babysitter may be guilty is failure to properly supervise a child. This can happen inside or outside a home, or at another location such as a park, pool or store.

Examples of things that can go wrong when a child isn’t properly supervised inside a home include:

  • starting a fire;
  • electrocution;
  • drowning in a tub;
  • falling out of a window;
  • choking on toys or other objects;
  • drinking poisonous fluids; and
  • getting into medication.

It is the babysitter’s job to keep an eye on children at all times so that accidents such as this don’t happen.

Outside the home, negligence could result in a child falling into a swimming pool or falling from a great height (such as a tree or roof). Fall injuries are common with children. According to Safe Kids USA, in 2008 there were 91 children under the age of 15 who died in a fall-related accident.

Neglect of a child can also happen when the babysitter leaves the home with the child. For instance, running errands and leaving the child inside a hot vehicle with the windows rolled up could lead to serious injury or death.

Taking a child to the park presents numerous possibilities for injuries when not properly supervised. Anywhere that a babysitter fails to pay attention, the risk of serious or life-threatening injuries is significant.

Other Types of Child Care Negligence

A failure to supervise is just one type of child care negligence of which a bad babysitter may be guilty. Some may ignore a child’s basic needs, which could result in illness or injury.

For example, a child could become severely dehydrated if an entire day goes by and he or she doesn’t receive fluids. If the child requires medication and the babysitter fails to give it, this could lead to complications or an adverse event.

An abusive babysitter can also inflict harm on a child. Abuse can take many forms; it may be of a physical, emotional or even sexual nature. Regardless, it can cause severe injuries that can have a lasting effect.

It is a babysitter’s duty to protect children from foreseeable or known harm. Some of the factors that may impact whether or not a babysitter can be found negligent include the age of the child and any special needs.

For example, leaving an older child alone on a sofa watching television for a few minutes may not constitute neglect, but leaving an infant alone in a room could be very dangerous, especially if the infant is on an elevated surface.

D.J. Banovitz can help if you believe that your child was injured as a result of a babysitter’s neglect or abuse. We may be able to evaluate your case and determine if you have the right to pursue legal action against a bad babysitter guilty of child care negligence that causes harm.

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