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What are the Risks to Children in Day Care Centers During Winter Months? (Hypothermia / Exposure to Cold Weather)

By Joseph R. Hillebrand Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Missouri and other States, parents rely on day care centers to provide a safe haven and learning environment for children enrolled in the program. During winter months, children are at risk for hypothermia or exposure to the cold when supervision is lacking or negligent. It is vital during winter months as well as other times of the year that the day care center staff provide consistent supervision for the children at the day care center, during transportion, and while on field trips.

When a child is literally left out in the cold, the child is put at risk for serious personal injuries and even an untimely death. Because of these real risks, it is vital that children are properly supervised and kept away from any extended exposure to cold, snow, and other winter elements. One way to avoid incidents of leaving children unattended is to follow State regulations and facility regulations. It also would be helpful to have an attendance checklist performed to make sure that all children are accounted for and in the right place and activity at the day care center.

In O’Fallon, Missouri, KMOX and other news outlets reported that a cay care cener was shut down by state authorities after a two year old girl was left out in the cold on Christmas Eve for a number of hours. The incident took place at the Bright Start Academy. It was reported that the weather had a windchill temperature of approximately 17 degrees at the time of the incident. The girl was found by her father and taken to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. You can read more about this matter at Child Left Out in Cold – Day Care Center – Bright Start Academy – Shuts Down Facility.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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