Each day, thousands of busy parents who like to squeeze in their workouts, entrust their young children to gym daycare centers.  Parents relinquish temporary custody of their children to the daycare center employees, believing their children will receive care and be protected from harm.   While the majority of children in daycare centers remain safe, there are occasions when because of negligence, children get hurt.

Following up to our last week’s blog, parents heading to the gym, at times, have to take and leave their little kiddos in the gym’s day care centers.  As parents, the convenience of having day cares at the places where they workout is very much appreciated.  Picking up your children safe after your workout is even more appreciated.  Unfortunately for some parents, this has not been the case.

 

Los Angeles, California –

For new mom, Jennie Timar, exercising is a priority.  So is the well-being of her 11-month-old daughter, Harriette.

Timar was a member of the Spectrum Athletic Club in Los Angeles.

Last month, she dropped off her daughter at the gym’s Kids Club, a service for which she paid an additional $50 a month.

“I had dropped her off at 8:30 a.m. as I usually do and I went upstairs to my stair climber to start working out,” Timar said.

Timar says when she went back to pick up her daughter an hour later, Harriette was hysterical.

“The employee at the Kids Club said she got bit.  When I saw this I said “Why did no one come get me?” Timar said.

The employee told Timar that her daughter was bit on the cheek by a 2-year-old boy in the Kids Club.

Timar asked the employee if her daughter was given first aid or ice.

They said “No, she’s fine, she’s okay.  We took care of it,” she recalled.

Timar demanded to speak with a manager.

“They refused to do an injury report.  They refused to have me talk to the other parent,” Timar said.  The manager said, “We are just a baby-sitting service, we are not a nanny service.”

So, Timar called police to file an injury report.

After that, Timar said the gym terminated her membership.  (Please read the full story here)

 

San Antonio Texas –

A toddler wandered away from the child care area of a Gold’s Gym in San Antonio, ending up in the parking lot where a man found her near a busy road, according to a report from Fox San Antonio.  Because of the incident, the child’s mother, Amber Katko, wants the state to strengthen oversight for child care areas at gyms.

Amber finished her workout and went to the child care room to pick up her 16-month-old daughter, but she could not find her in the room.  When she asked the employees about her daughter, they did not know where she went.

“They didn’t even know she was missing,” Amber told the TV station.

The management at Gold’s Gym apologized to the mom and offered the following statement: “We are very sorry for the stress this has caused the family involved in this incident and are taking this matter extremely seriously.”

Amber told Fox San Antonio that she plans to contact lawmakers about increasing oversight and accountability at gym child care areas.

 

Gym Child Care Centers are not regulated by the state: 

According to an article in USA Today, it’s unclear how many child care centers in gyms are unregulated nationwide, but 12 states, including Alabama and Indiana, grant license exemptions to child care centers with short-term care, according to Child Care Aware of America, a child care advocacy group.  8 states, including Illinois and Michigan, exempt centers from licenses if a parent is located on the premises.  Centers at gyms can fall into either category.  Here’s what to know in California: California Day Care Regulations and for all the other states.

“It’s up to the gyms, and some do a better job than others,” said Michelle McCready, a senior policy adviser at Child Care Aware of America. “The provider may not know the child or routine health and safety measures.”

 

Child Care: Day Care Safety Checklist

What we should be looking for as parents when visiting prospective day care centers –

  • Child-to-staff ratio of 3:1 in a center caring for infants younger than 2-yearrs-old, 4:1 for 2-year-olds, and 7:1 for 3-year-olds.
  • Children should be supervised at all times.
  • Dedicated, friendly caregivers who are trained in child development, early-childhood education, or a related field.
  • Center that’s licensed and regularly inspected for health and cleanliness.
  • Written policy on caring for ill children.
  • Limited or no TV viewing and/or Cell phone usage for caregivers as this causes distractions.
  • Safe sleep and play environments.
  • Clean toys in good condition with no sharp edges.
  • Diapering area separate from children’s play areas.
  • Perishable food refrigerated.
  • Cleaning supplies and other toxic materials in locked cabinet.
  • Easily accessible first-aid kit and posted emergency numbers.
  • Electrical outlets covered with protective caps.
  • Security gates at top and bottom of stairs.
  • Window guards on all windows except designated fire exits.
  • Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
  • All outside play areas enclosed.
  • An emergency evacuation plan.

 

For parents who are committed to living a healthy lifestyle, remember, you are parents first and health enthusiast second; therefore, your kids’ safety comes first.  There is just no compromising.  You rely on gym day care to workout; make sure it works for your child too.

 

Have a serious injury and need legal advice? Contact Howard Blau.

 

 

Please Be Sure to Read the Following References:

“Gym Daycares Pose Danger to Kids.”  NBC San Diego. Retrieved 2 August 2017 from http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Gym-Daycares-Pose-a-Danger-to-Kids-232408241.html

“Child care centers at gyms not always regulated.” USA Today. Retrieved 2 August 2017 from  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/17/unregulatedchildcare/2656615/

“Gold’s Gym Makes Changes after Toddler Wanders Out of Child Care Room into Parking Lot.” Club Industry.  Retrieved 2 August 2017 from http://www.clubindustry.com/profits/golds-gym-makes-changes-after-toddler-wanders-out-child-care-room-parking-lot

“Child Care: Day Care Safety Checklist.” Parents. Retrieved 2 August 2017 from http://www.parents.com/baby/childcare/daycare/day-care-safety-checklist/