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Is Illinois Daycare Understaffing Responsible for a Severe Allergic Reaction in My Child? 

Posted on in Personal Injury

Winnebago County Personal Injury LawyerChildren in Illinois daycares frequently have severe food allergies. Daycare staff must be made aware of these allergies and adequately train staff to recognize and respond to signs of an allergic reaction. Because allergic reactions can be life-threateningly severe, daycare staff and managers need to track, plan, and carefully prepare meals to avoid giving children foods to which they are allergic. But when a daycare is careless or understaffed, the risk of accidentally exposing a child to a dangerous allergen increases. If your child was given food to which they are allergic at their daycare, the daycare may be liable for any food allergy injury that resulted. 

Inadequate Staffing Increases Risk of Allergen Exposure

A new 2021 law requires daycare and school employees to recognize and treat signs of anaphylactic shock. Ideally, a child in daycare will never be exposed to anything to which she is allergic, but this law is intended to save lives if a child is accidentally given unsafe food. 

However, if a daycare is understaffed and employees have to manage more children than they can reasonably care for, a child’s risk of allergic food exposure increases, along with the risk of overworked staff who might miss signs of an allergic reaction. Parents should be aware of the staff-child ratios required in Illinois daycares so they can be on the alert for signs of understaffing: 

  • Infants aged six weeks through 14 months must have a staff-to-child ratio of one to four

  • Toddlers aged 15 months through 23 months must have a staff-to-child ratio of one to five

  • Two-year-olds must have a staff-to-child ratio of one to eight

  • Three- and four-year-olds must have a staff-to-child ratio of one to 10

  • Five-year-olds and kindergarteners must have a staff-to-child ratio of one to 20

Daycares are also limited by maximum group size, even with the appropriate staff-to-child ratio present. For example, a daycare cannot have more than twelve infants in a group, even with three or more caregivers present. Inappropriate staff/child ratios and group sizes greatly increase the risk of a caregiver not being familiar with a child’s allergy risks and exposing them to dangerous foods. 

Meet with a Rockford Daycare Injuries Lawyer

The skilled Rockford daycare injury attorneys at Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS have more than 20 years of experience working with victims of dangerous daycare abuse, neglect, and incompetence. If your child has suffered an allergic reaction at daycare, or suffered from any other serious daycare injury, consider scheduling a free consultation with one of our attorneys today. We will answer your questions and do our best to help. Call us today at 815-215-7561




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