When it comes to selecting a daycare provider, parents spend a significant amount of time researching and interviewing before making their decision. Fortunately, most facilities in the United States operate under professional and dedicated workers. As a result, children have a clean and safe environment away from home. However, as seen in the news far too often, some daycares fail parents and their children with accusations of abuse.

If you have a child who reports someone abused them at their daycare facility; they come home with unexplained bruises, cuts, bumps, or bite marks; or they begin to show behavioral changes, you need to take it seriously.

Remember, infants and small children lack the communication skills necessary to be specific in what they endured while at daycare, so as the parent, it is your responsibility to step in. You must be vigilant in watching for warning signs of not just abuse but also neglect and molestation. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you need to take swift and appropriate action.

The most critical action involves removing your child from the facility, followed by taking him or her to the pediatrician. A healthcare professional is professionally trained to look for telltale signs of physical abuse. As a mandated reporter, the pediatrician will notify the appropriate authorities if there are findings of abuse, neglect, or molestation. At that time, you can get your child any needed medical attention.

After getting your child out of harm’s way, you should speak to an attorney who specializes in personal injury, including daycare abuse. The attorney will let you know which authorities to contact and what evidence to collect. That way, you know exactly how to deal with something so horrific. The attorney will also advise you of your legal rights and give you the legal support needed moving forward.

Next, speak with the director at the daycare. During your conversation, be honest about your findings or concerns, and ask a lot of questions. That individual should open an immediate investigation. If an incident gets confirmed, the director should terminate the person(s) responsible and contact the authorities. If you can, speak with other parents who utilize the same daycare services to find out if they have experienced any problems.

Regardless of what the daycare director says or does, you still need to contact your local law enforcement, allowing authorities to conduct a separate investigation since the incident could lead to criminal charges and conviction of the perpetrator(s). You want not only the person(s) who harmed your child held responsible but also to prevent other children from experiencing the same thing or perhaps worse.

Any parent who relies on daycare needs to know the warning signs of abuse. You also need to take the necessary steps to protect your children and let the right people know about the incident. Ultimately, a reputable attorney will become an advocate on behalf of your child, helping to bring the person(s) responsible to justice while guiding you through the legal process.