[Parentsgroup-list] Daycare Injury

Jennifer Roloff Welch roloffje at gmail.com
Mon Nov 17 12:41:52 EST 2008

Dear Eun Ha and all,
I would follow your instincts, Eun Ha. If you sense something is not quite
right, and that these injuries seem more unusual than typical toddler bumps
and scrapes, then maybe you can observe for a few days as someone else
suggested. If you get a bad feeling while you're there, or see anything that
is not as you would want it, then maybe you can look for other childcare
Best wishes,

On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 9:49 AM, Christine Wenc <christinewenc at gmail.com>wr=

> I agree that you are right to be worried but also that toddlers often
> have bumps and bruises.  I'll just say, though, that I had a nightmare
> experience with a daycare when my son was about 2 (NOT a Harvard
> daycare) that resulted in an actual criminal case being brought
> against the daycare from the town it was in -- and it started with
> unexplained bruises -- which admittedly began in a very strange place
> (his ear, as if someone had been yanking on it).
> We got out of there and he's fine, but.  Little injuries do
> occasionally indicate something much worse is going on.  My experience
> was at a totally respectable large home day care in a lovely house
> with three teachers with college degrees etc.  I did find out that
> studies show day care centers  (like the ones at Harvard) are far
> safer than home day cares -- big centers are your safest bet in part
> because there are usually few hidden corners or rooms that are not
> visible to all the staff all the time.  Makes it much more difficult
> for another kid or a staff member to do bad things when no one is
> looking.  One of the reasons the Harvard grad student parents' group
> was started was to give grad students affordable access to the Harvard
> centers.
> They are supposed to report every injury and tell you about it, so
> make sure they do.  You can also call the state child care services
> office and see if there have been any complaints, but I found that
> office to be sort of a joke -- perhaps caring, but WAY understaffed,
> and, among other things, people with criminal records, including
> violent ones, actually CAN be hired as day care workers in MA if the
> center thinks it's OK.  The process of being licensed as a home day
> care provider is also laughably brief, and there are basically no
> state inspections once the license is given.
> It's very hard to hand your 2-year-old over to someone else for care
> no matter how great the place is, and one of the things you have to
> get used to is that you really have no idea of knowing what actually
> happens when you are separated.  I do think that most of the time
> everything is fine (we had a great subsequent experience with the
> Harvard Yard Child Care Center), but I did find out the hard way that
> very occasionally, it's not.  If you're getting a weird feeling, then
> find out more about what's going on.  (Can you observe the class for a
> few days?)
> --Christine W.
> On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 10:18 AM, Manjari C. Miller
> <mchatter at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> > I think it's your right to be worried. At the same time, with toddlers
> there
> > are often unexplainable small injuries. My two year old comes home
> sometimes
> > with little bumps or "booboos" that may or may not have an explanation.
> Kids
> > that age do bump into things and scratch themselves while playing--not =
> > mention their playmates may inflict scratches without even meaning to.
> Our
> > daycare (PTCC) reports the more major injuries--ie deep scratches (from=
> > friend); bump when he hit the floor hard; or a bit (the last two had no
> > marks and I would not have known). But there have been times I've notic=
> a
> > little mark that my son has no explanation for (usually he'll say "C bit
> me"
> > etc if asked). If it doesn't bother him--which most of the time it
> > doesn't--I let it go. Unless there is blood or residual pain or other
> more
> > severe consequences, I would chalk it up to the hazards of being a
> toddler.
> >
> > However, for your peace of mind, you could continue to ask the teachers
> each
> > time you notice something. That's your right. And whether they think
> you're
> > paranoid or not is irrelevant. But for what it's worth, toddlers don't
> need
> > long fingernails to scratch themselves and leave marks (or at least mine
> > doesn't).
> >
> >
> > On Sat, 15 Nov 2008, Eunha Chang wrote:
> >
> >> Dear Group,
> >>
> >> I have a question about small injuries that occur at the daycare cente=
> >>  I
> >> have a two-year old son, and he goes to one of the harvard-affiliated
> >> daycare centers.  Since he started to attend this center from Septembe=
> >> he
> >> had about five incidents of scratches on his face ( big enough to
> notice)
> >> among which cases I only received only one accident report form. For
> other
> >> four cases, when I asked about the scars, the teachers either said my
> son
> >> scratched himself with his long fingernails (which were not long at al=
> >> or they were from another days.
> >>
> >> Do you usually ask teacher about these kind of small injuries? Am I
> being
> >> too paranoid about it? What are the teachers response usually? I am not
> >> trying to accuse the teachers, but just wanted to know what happened. I
> >> totally understand that kids of this age get physical, especially when
> >> they
> >> cannot speak.  But hearing these non-sense excuses everytime just makes
> me
> >> feel annoyed.
> >>
> >> Now it seems like the teachers started to think of me as one of the
> nasty
> >> moms who chases after every trivial injuries.  I am also beginning to
> >> think
> >> that there might have been more serious injuries-- that does not leave
> any
> >> mark on the kids' body, such as some head bumping or falling from
> >> structure
> >> -- that the teachers just did not report.
> >>
> >> Any similar experiences and any advice on how I should react in the
> >> future,
> >> when teachers keep saying that my son scratched himself to the point
> that
> >> there is a scar? (For the last two years, I have never seen my son does
> >> this
> >> at home or outside.)
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Eun Ha
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Eun Ha Chang
> >> Visiting Fellow
> >> Harvard Yenching Institute
> >> http://www.harvard-yenching.org
> >> 617 999 6370
> >>
> >>
> >> "Enter to Grow in Wisdom"
> >> "Depart to Serve Better Thy Country and Thy Kind"
> >>                ----Inscription on the outside and inside of the Dexter
> >> Gate at Harvard (1901)
> >>
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> >
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-- =

Jennifer Roloff Welch
Advanced Doctoral Candidate
Harvard Graduate School of Education
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