Posted in Business Practice

Serious Injury and Death Policy

The Family Child Care Licensing Rule requires licensees to have a number of policies written out and clearly shared with guardians.

A record that the provider has shared the following information with the child’s parent at the time of admission:

a. Child guidance practices;

b. Parental visitation at the child care site;

c. Expulsion and suspension practices;

d. Management of child illness;

e. Emergency preparedness for natural disasters and human-caused events, including but not limited to, fire drills;

f. Release of children to non-custodial caregivers;

g. Mandated reporting; and

h. Serious injury and child death reporting

FCCAM is hearing that providers are questioning how to approach Serious Injury and Death reporting.


Remember, that the Licensing Rule only requires providers to have a policy. It does not tell you what you have to have in it. You are required by law to report a serious injury to the state. You should make families aware of that. Providers are questioning having to have the word death in their policies. Again that is up to the provider. A detailed Accident/Illness/Injury Form, with an additional section for Serious Injury, should allow for the documentation of an occurrence of death through questions on treatment, outcome, result of injury, etc.

Here is sample language for Serious Injury and Death that you could include as part of your policy on management of illnesses:

As required by the licensing rule, any injury to a child while in the care of (business name) will be reported to their guardian. A written copy of a completed Accident/Illness/Injury Report will be kept in the child’s file. Where necessary under law the report will be forwarded to the appropriate governing agency. Guardians and state licensing staff know children are active and no amount of child proofing and supervision can prevent all injuries. However, reporting juries can help prevent them in the future by identifying injury patterns specific to the child care’s environment, and/or with a child who may need help with difficulties associated with balance, vision or foot positioning.

Medical attention is a guardian decision. When a guardian cannot be reached (business name) will act in their stead when a decision on immediate medical attention is needed.

Serious injuries will be reported to the Child Care Licensing Unit at 287-9300 within 24 hours. 

The following sample contains suggested content to be included in a Serious Injury Form. It would be completed, in addition to your general Accident/Injury/Illness Report, if a serious injury or death occurred.

Serious Injury Report: Report for injuries that require medical treatment by a physician or emergency room visit.

Medical attention:

___ Parent contacted, child remained in program

___ Paramedics treated

___ Transported to hospital by ambulance

___ Parent reported taking child to doctor/clinic

___ Parent reported taking child to emergency room

___ Child admitted to hospital

___ Other:

Describe outcome: (Example: cast, stitches, return to child care date, etc.):

Witnesses to Injury, print name(s):
Name of official/agency notified:

Date/Time of notification:

Person reporting injury:

Print Name:

Signature:                                                                                        Date:

Thinking about the impact of a serious injury or death during your day, it also makes sense to have written procedural information on how to handle such an event. This procedural information fits well in the required Emergency Preparedness Plan. Here is sample language from the the EPP found here on FCCAM’s website.

Serious Injury/Child Death

  • If a child is injured while in childcare, they will be checked for life-threatening situations and appropriate CPR/First aid will be given.
  • If child is seriously injured, or death has occurred, 911 will be called.
  • Guardian will be contacted.
  • Injured child will be kept calm and comfortable until medical services arrive.  
  • Other children present will be kept calm, removing from area to a safe location while remaining under supervision.
  • Serious Injury/death will be reported to Licensing Office, as soon as possible, within 24 hrs.

As uncomfortable as it can be to think and talk about serious injury or death with current families or potential clients, having a written policy is reassuring to families that you are prepared.

For an even simpler option check out our Business Tool Kit / Policies / Reporting Serious Injury/Death.


FCCAM works to unify, promote and strengthen quality professional family child care in Maine. We understand the critical role of child care providers in the lives of children and families. Through collaboration with other organizations we work to increase awareness of our profession and the value of a strong child care system to Maine's diverse communities.