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What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Child Care Center During Field Trips and Swimming Related Activities?

By David Baum, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Illinois and other States, day care centers and child care centers have a duty to provide reasonable and timely supervision of the children under the care of the facility. When a day care center transports the children on field trips including those excursions to water parks, swimming pools, and other aquatic centers. At most swimming pools, water parks, and aquatic centers, there are typically trained lifeguards in place. For schools and day care centers, the question then arises as to the level of supervision and involvement that the day care center employees should have at the swimming pool and aquatic center when there are lifeguards already in place.

To the extent possible, reasonable, and practical, day care center employees should provide additional supervision of the children in and around the swimming pool. A lifeguard has the responsibility for all of the children and swimmers in and around the pool while the child care provider only has the legal responsibility for the select few children transported by the day care center to the swimming pool, water park, and aquatic center.

For small children including those enrolled in day care centers, after school programs, and summer camps, swimming pools, water parks, and aquatic centers can be areas of great fun and adventure; however, these places can also be quite dangerous especially for children who are not strong swimmers and who fail to recognize the risks of swimming pools and water areas.

When day care centers and child care centers bring children on a field trip to a swimming pool, it is important that each staff member is assigned a select group of children to make sure that the children are properly supervised and monitored in and around the swimming pool area. Relying solely and completely on the lifeguards in place can turn out to be quite dangerous especially when visiting crowded pools and aquatic areas.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Swimming Pool & Water Park Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Medical Treatment / Medical Bills, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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