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Happy Happy Home Day Care In San Jose Cited Multiple Times By Inspectors Prior To Fatal Drowning Accident
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA (October 4, 2023) – Two children have tragically died and another child was hospitalized after a suspected swimming pool drowning at Happy Happy Home Daycare in San Jose.
Santa Clara County officials are saying that the incident began on Monday morning. One neighbor who lives near the daycare said that he heard a large commotion.
Police officials and paramedics were called to the scene in order to help children injured in a suspected drowning. Three children were taken to the hospital with critical injuries.
Tragically, two of those children died at the hospital. Happy Happy Home Daycare facility on Fleetwood Drive first sought state licensing in 2020.
State inspectors reported that they found a four inch gap at both ends of the pool enclosing. They also said that the fence needed to be altered in order to prevent it from being accessible by windows behind the fence.
Inspectors later said that the needed alterations were made by January 2021. Since January 2021, Happy Happy Daycare has been cited a total of six times by state inspectors.
A full investigation into the two deaths remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For San Jose Daycare Drownings
Drowning remains one of the most common causes of preventable death for children. According to the American Red Cross, “Ten people die each day from unintentional drowning, and on average 2 of them are under age 14. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children ages one to four than any other cause except birth defects. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.” There are a number of factors that could contribute to a childhood drowning.
- Inadequate supervision by adults could contribute to a drowning.
- There may be a lack of physical barriers around a pool.
- Supervising adults may not have CPR training.
- Adults supervising children may be impaired by drugs or alcohol.
All daycare providers have a legal responsibility to properly supervise the children in their care. They must enforce all rules and regulations necessary to keep children safe. When a daycare fails to properly supervise children, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. A child’s death at a daycare may have also been caused by a dangerous condition at a property. Pursuant to California Civil Code 1714, “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person.” There are a number of regulations specifically related to swimming pools at California daycares.
- Pools should not be accessible directly from a door or a window within a daycare facility.
- The gate to a pool should not be closed by a lock. This can create a hazard if an adult needs to enter the pool quickly.
- Pools should be entirely enclosed by a five foot high fence.
- The fence for the pool should not obstruct an adult’s vision of the pool from the outside.
- Pools must have a gate that is self-closing and self-latching.
When a property owner has actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition with their property, they must act. Most deaths and injuries in a daycare setting are preventable and involve some amount of negligence. In far too many situations, daycare providers will fail to abide by regulations that they deem unnecessary or repetitive. This can often lead to tragic consequences. When a daycare provider is negligent and a child dies in their care, the parent of the child can seek some measure of accountability through a civil claim.
Investigating San Jose Daycare Accidents
We at Samer Habbas & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of the two children that died in this accident. It is our sincere hope that the other child will be able to make a full recovery. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. The number of citations at Happy Happy Home Daycare over the past two years remains deeply concerning.
Do you need more information about Santa Clara County daycare accidents? Our team of child safety advocates are here to help in any way that we can. We are committed to informing parents of their rights and holding daycares accountable for their negligence. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of assistance after an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 951-210-7841
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