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Failure to Provide Special Dietary Needs

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Nearly 10% of children school-age and younger suffer from allergies. While these allergies may worsen or completely diminish as children age, they often require special dietary constraints in the meantime. Daycare centers must comply with these needs, as some allergies can be very severe or deadly. Other times, dietary needs are preferential based on parents’ wishes, or they can be optional or mandatory based on religious and cultural beliefs. Daycares must also comply with these non-medical dietary needs.

Allowing a child who has allergies to come in contact with harmful food or permitting a child to eat something they cannot is considered a negligent act. However, daycares must be aware of this condition or request to be held accountable. If you believe that your child was harmed as a result of negligence at his or her daycare, contact the Atlanta daycare negligence attorneys at Jenkins Utley, P.C. today. We offer free, confidential consultations and compassionate, personalized legal guidance.

Reach out to our firm at (404) 334-3013 today to learn more about how our team can assist you with your injury claim.

Steps to Avoid Dietary Negligence

There are certain steps all parents can take to protect their children from exposure to certain foods they may not be allowed to or physically cannot consume.

When enrolling your child in childcare, always discuss your child’s allergy or dietary restrictions with supervisors:

  • Provide written notice of your child’s allergy and have it signed (and keep a copy for yourself).
  • Tell your caregiver about the signs associated with your child’s allergic reaction and his or her sensitivity.
  • Let the daycare know what to do should an accident occur; provide written instructions.
  • If possible, leave a backup dose of allergy medication at the daycare.
  • Provide helpful information about the allergy, including what common foods may contain the ingredient. Be sure to list any alternate names the food may be listed under on ingredient labels.
  • Always give multiple emergency numbers should something happen.

Other Things to Consider

If your child has a non-medical food restriction, make sure you tell the daycare exactly what cannot be eaten. For instance, some vegetarian diets allow fish but not red meat; others only allow eggs and dairy, and no red meat, fish, or poultry. If you do not want your child to eat certain foods, be specific so nothing is assumed by your caregiver.

Most daycares understand cross-contamination, but it is often what causes allergic reactions. If a child is extremely allergic to peanuts, it would be beneficial that the daycare provider understands that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cannot come anywhere near your child’s food or the preparation of his or her food.

Selecting the Right Daycare

When looking into daycares, it may be beneficial to research those that cater to the dietary needs of children. Some daycares avoid common allergens altogether due to the high risk and numbers of children with allergies. Frequently avoided foods include eggs, milk, peanuts, and shellfish. Additionally, some childcare facilities provide a weekly menu, allowing parents to select what their children can and cannot eat the week prior to dining.

How Our Attorneys Can Help

Daycares must accommodate children based upon dietary needs be they cultural, religious, or allergy-related. If your child has been harmed or hurt due to a failure to provide special dietary needs, your daycare should be held accountable. At Jenkins Utley, P.C., our Atlanta daycare negligence lawyers can help families pursuing cases against negligent daycare centers. Our lawyers are passionate about cases involving children; they should not be the victims of judgment calls made by a negligent adult. We are not afraid to go to court and try a case to get you maximum compensation because your family and child have a right to recompense for any damages endured.

Jenkins Utley, P.C. can represent you and your family through all legal proceedings, investigation of your claim, and settlement or trial. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (404) 334-3013 for a free consultation.

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