Babysitter and Daycare Negligence
How can you protect your child against a babysitter or daycare provider that substantially affects your child's safety?
Ohio Revised Code section 2919.226 requires all babysitters and day care providers to inform parents if a child has ever died or been seriously injured while in their care. A parent can ask the provider to complete a childcare disclosure form which lists the qualifications of the provider, the maximum number of children to whom they provide childcare at one time, and whether any child in their care has died or suffered injuries that led to the child being hospitalized for more than 24 hours. A babysitter or daycare provider cannot misrepresent any factor or condition that substantially affects the health or safety of any child while in their care.
Often, babysitters are cheaper and might provide more personal attention, but they do not need to have a license in Ohio unless they are taking care of more than 6 children. If your babysitter is unlicensed and is taking care of more than 6 children, they are breaking the law.
Here are some helpful tips when choosing a home provider:
1. Check to see if the provider passed a criminal background check;
2. Check to see if the provider underwent first aid training;
3. Check to see if the provider has insurance;
4. Ask for all parent references;
5. Ask the provider to complete a childcare disclosure form. This is required of all providers.
Here are some helpful tips when choosing a daycare center:
1. Review all of their state inspection reports. Ohio law requires that these reports be posted in the daycare center;
2. Pay attention to staff to child ratios, staff qualifications, and criminal background checks;
3. Drop in unannounced and at different times of the day to observe the daycare center. Be wary if they discourage this practice; and
4. To report an illegal childcare operation, call 1-866-635-3748 and select option 2, then option 1.
Ohio's Dog Bite Statute
Are you strictly liable when your dog bites someone?
In 2003, dog bites accounted for about one quarter of all home owners' insurance liability claims, costing roughly $321.6 million. In Ohio, an owner and keeper of a dog is strictly liable for damages caused by the dog on the owner's property or in a public place. Ohio Revised Code § 955.11 eliminates the requirement of showing that the owner knew of the dog's vicious propensities. A dog owner is liable regardless of whether the owner knew of the dog's vicious propensities or had reason to believe that the dog would act in a vicious manner. The only defenses available to the dog owner include cases where the injured party trespassed on the dog owner's property, engaged in criminal conduct, or teased, tormented or abused the dog on the owner's property.
Ohio no longer requires that the victim prove that the owner had knowledge of the dog's viciousness, that the dog was vicious, or that the owner kept the dog in a negligent manner.
If you have been a victim of a dog bite you must obtain the following information as soon as possible:
1. Obtain as many witness names and addresses as possible;
2. Gather as much information as you can about the owner's homeowner's insurance;
3. Take pictures of all of your injuries;
4. Obtain medical treatment as soon as possible; and
5. Take down as many notes about the incident as possible.