Shaken Baby Syndrome or SBS is a medical term given to the condition of a child 5 years old and younger who has suffered abuse at the hands of another. The average age of victims is typically 5 to 8 months. The violent shaking or striking of the child results in traumatic brain injury and sometimes bleeding on the brain.
When someone forcefully shakes a baby, the child’s head rotates uncontrollably. An infant’s neck muscles are not developed enough yet to fully support their heads. This abrupt movement throws the brain back and forth within the skull, sometimes rupturing blood vessels and nerves and tearing the brain tissue. The brain may strike the inside of the skull, which can cause bruising and bleeding to the brain.
Criminal charges may be filed against the perpetrator and child protective services often gets involved with these types of cases. However, liability for this act can reach beyond the individual perpetrator who cared for the child. Many times, the daycare company and daycare owners are liable for the acts of their workers or for negligently hiring a worker.
Daycare owners possess the precious responsibility of caring for the most innocent and vulnerable of our society—children. That means the hiring of workers in a daycare should not be done without proper investigation into that person’s background. Background checks allow an owner to ensure the worker does not have a criminal history. Reference checks with prior employers can ward against hiring a person with child abuse incidents or allegations in their background.
In the state of Georgia, not all daycare facilities are required to carry liability insurance. This could cover, for example, medical bills after a child breaks a bone while playing on the playground. Parents considering enrolling their child into a daycare should ask the owner for proof of their insurance coverage.
State regulations do require the daycare owner to tell parents if they do or do not have insurance. Asking for proof of insurance up front can assist parents with the decision of whether to enroll their child there, and limit surprises in the future if an incident does occur.
Discovering that another person has caused an injury to or neglected your child is very difficult for any parent. It is important to talk to a knowledgeable daycare abuse attorney promptly about the responsible parties. Contact one of our attorneys at (770) 394-8909 to discuss what steps to take to protect you and your child’s rights.