By, David Wolf, Child Injury Lawyer
In Arkansas and other States, children enrolled in day care centers and other summer programs are at risks for injury and death during transportation and services. There is a simple way to prevent these hot car deaths and hot van deaths from taking place. In fact, these injuries and deaths can be avoided with a watch eye, clipboard, attendance list, and a pen. It is vital that all day center providers and summer camps take roll call whenever the van, bus, or vehicle is loaded or unloaded. All children must be accounted for at all times. Furthermore, whenever a bus, van, or other mode of transportation is stopped without supervision onboard and without proper ventilation and air conditioning, there should be a physical and verbal sweep of the bus, van, or vehicle to make sure that all children are off the bus. What happens when a child is left on a bus, van, or other vehicle during periods of warm or hot weather? Well, the headlines speak for themselves when there is a report of yet another hot van or hot bus death involving a school, summer camp or day care center.
In West Memphis, Arkansas, it was reported that 5 year boy (Christopher Gardner Junior) died as a result of being left in a day care center van. It was reported that the temperature in the van once the vehicle was turned off reached 141 degrees Fahrenheit. Tragically, Christopher was left on the van for 8 hours when he was finally located in the afternoon. Certainly, this was a tragic event and day for Christopher’s family, extended family, friends, neighbors, and the community. It was also reported that Christopher was signed into the facility in the morning. It would appear that this was done without truly accounting for Christopher’s whereabouts. Again, a watchful eye, attentiveness, and the dedicated use of a roll call list whether with pen and paper or an iPad or other electronic device would have avoid the tragic consequences as reported in West Memphis.