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Brain injuries: How safe is your child in day care?

Parents in Ontario and elsewhere entrust their toddlers to day care providers. Taking care of children is a significant responsibility, exacerbated by the fact that children are little explorers who will climb and run with total disregard to injury risks. Without proper supervision, children risk falls that could cause serious harm, including brain injuries.

According to the Northern Brain Injury Association, of all ages, young children are at the highest risk of suffering brain injuries. These include mild traumatic brain injuries like concussion, and also more severe brain trauma. Children also typically need more time recovery time than adults after concussions, and this becomes even more dangerous if a child has suffered several head injuries over time.

The consequences of brain injuries are unpredictable. Brain trauma at such a young age can hamper a child's development. The way the child walks, talks, learns and interacts with people can be permanently damaged. Toddlers are also at a significant risk of suffering second-impact syndrome, which happens when a child sustains another head injury before he or she has fully recovered from a previous concussion.

When this happens, the brain swells, and permanent disabilities or even death can result. Parents whose children suffered brain injuries while at a day care centre might have grounds to pursue claims for financial relief through the Ontario civil justice system. However, such a claim requires the plaintiff to prove negligence on the part of the day care facility. An experienced lawyer can assist with establishing negligence and provide the necessary support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings.

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