How to Handle a Hurt Child in Your Daycare Home

No matter how hard you may try, it is inevitable that a hurt child will occur in your daycare home. A child runs to see who is coming through the door and trips on a toy, causing a head laceration or needs Bruise Treatment- another child bites someone because they took their book- a fall on a wooden deck scrapes a little knee while the child is pushing a toy stroller- ALL of these are some examples of what has happened in my home and my list could go on!  What do you do?

After inspecting the injury and giving hugs that are necessary to soothe the child, it’s time to treat it by cleaning the wound, applying ice, or putting on a Band-Aid (whatever is appropriate)to the hurt child. Of course if the injury is severe- always call 911 immediately, then the parents.
  But what if this is just a small injury that can easily be forgotten about (especially if it occurred early in the morning and the child is in your home till late afternoon)?  This is not where the story should end. Small injuries such as these need to be documented and parents need to be informed because…


Wondering what those bruised teeth marks on their kid’s arm or why they have a bandage on their knee and the child starting crying because Mom noticed it. You can’t go back and explain why you didn’t tell them. They expect you to – it’s your job to! The parents can get pretty upset and have every right to be. Even the smallest little scratch means a hurt child and needs to be explained even if it seems trivial to you. Besides, it adds of professionalism to your daycare business and enhances trust and respect between both of you.


When a child in my daycare home sustains an injury, I first will care for the hurt child and then I will fill out an injury report. This is something you absolutely need to do.
The accident report needs to be given to the parents when they pick up their child, before they leave your home. It should then be signed by you and the parent so there is no question about what happened. If the parent takes it home to sign it, be sure to get it back the next day. Then make a copy of it – put your copy in the hurt child’s file (for proof the injury was documented) and give the other to the parent. 

crying child

I will sometimes call or text the parent and let them know about what happened (if they are ok with this and also where they work is ok with them getting texts/personal calls). I have even taken photos of the injury with my cell phone camera and sent it to them.  I have a couple of families who have asked me to do this, but you may not have that opportunity/ability. The accident report is what is most important.


Here is what you need to include in your accident report:

  • Name, address and phone number of your daycare business
  • The date and time of the accident
  • The child’s name and age
  • The parents name and contact information
  • The number of children involved in the accident
  • The place the accident occurred
  • The nature of the injury(such as tripping and falling) and location of the injury (example- head laceration)
  • What the action was taken.
  • Who was notified that the accident occurred and when, i.e., 911, a parent, a physician.
  • Transportation used if applicable (an ambulance for example)

child with black eye

Remember- Using an accident report form will document and help you keep track of injuries that happen while a child is in your care. It is a simple practice and a vital communication tool. One that helps keep parents informed of even simple injuries (therefore avoiding angry parents!)and accidents but also helps protect your daycare business in the case of potential lawsuits.

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