No parents want their child to be hurt at daycare, but when the injury comes from another child, things can get heated. It's important to remember that bitting among toddlers is fairly normal and doesn't usually require medical attention. By the time children reach three years of age, bitting normally goes away.
Why Do Toddlers Bite?
For most young kids, biting is a way to communicate and isn't usually meant to be aggressive. Biting can mean "I'm excited" or "I want that." Sometimes, biting is a way for children to relieve frustration.
Unfortunately, biting gets the toddler what they want - a reaction - so it can be hard to "train" a kid out of it. Similarly, just because biting is part of development for some children doesn't mean it's okay. If your child was bit by another toddler at school or daycare, there are a few steps you can take.
Discuss the Bite with Your Child's School or Daycare
Ask a teacher or provider how they handle biting. Daycare centers especially have a duty to closely monitor the children - they need to know what caused the bite to happen and how to prevent it next time. Ask how they plan to correct the behavior if it were to happen again. Again, it's the job of both schools and daycare centers to effectively monitor and discipline children who hurt one another.
If a daycare center doesn't know how your child ended up with a bite mark, that's not good news. While it's unreasonable to expect daycare providers to stop every bite from happening, they should always be aware of what's going on.
Can You Sue in Texas If Your Child Was Bit by Another Toddler?
To answer this question, we'll first need to ask: how seriously was your child injured?
Most toddler bites don't break the skin. Similarly, daycare centers and schools can't reasonably protect every child from every incident. If your child did not require medical attention and the school or daycare center was not negligent (meaning they didn't do something to allow the bite to happen), then I'd advise against legal action.
What if your child was seriously injured? Most bites between humans don't get infected, but there is a risk for Hepatitis B or C and HIV. If the bite was serious enough to warrant a visit to the doctor, stitches, Hepatitis shots or if your child was infected as a result, it's worth consulting your personal injury attorney to hear your options.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Not everyone needs a lawyer. I often tell people that if they could afford to pay for their damages and injuries out-of-pocket if they had to, then they can also likely manage their claim alone.
However, if you have big damages to your car and serious personal injuries, you should most certainly consult with an attorney. The first meeting should be free.
To figure out which path is right for you, I'll point you here: How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
The Anderson Law Firm handles child and daycare injuries in Dallas-Fort Worth. We offer free consultations to discuss the specifics of your case. To set up your meeting today, call 817-294-1900.