By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In Pennsylvania and other States, working parents rely on day care center to provide supervision and transportation for children enrolled in the child care program. In addition to the general dangers and risks involved with traffic and transporation, there is an added risk for children who at times get left behind on a school bus or day care center van. During hot summer and spring months and cold winter months, a child left alone in a vehicle can suffer from extreme heat or extreme cold to the point that the child suffers serious personal injuries, and, in some instances, even dies as a result of being left in the van or bus. In addition, there are other risks and dangers to a child left alone in a school bus or van. The risks and dangers include those related to strangulation, abduction, choking, wandering away, etc . . . . The mission of every day care center should be to provid consistent and professional supervision of the children.
One inexpensive or low cost way to insure that children are properly monitored and removed from day care center vans and business is a simple checklist. That’s right, for the negligible costs of a pad of paper or form and a pen / pencil – a day care center can better protect and monitor the children. Of course, the necessary work needs to be performed in order to properly complete the documentation. In particular, the school bus driver should do a visual sweep and walking sweep of the front, middle, and back of the bus. In addition, a second attendant or employee should do the same. The list should be checked twice and signed off by each employee and then the list should be reviewed and checked off again when the children are brought inside of the facility or to the intended destination. A written policy and procedure also is beneficial. While there are electronic devices and alarms that available in the marketplace, the checklist and policy / procedure can help avoid most (if not all) incidents involving children left on a school bus or day care center van.
A recent incident was reported in Plymouth, Pennsylvania in which a 5 year old girl (Taylor Williams) was left unattended in a day care center (Creative Care Children) van. It was quite an upsetting day for the 5 year old girl and her parents. While the child did not appear to suffer any significant physical personal injuries, the risks and dangers were there. Furthermore, the day care center appeared to have “droppped the ball” in many respects which does and should cause concerns for other parents with children in the facility. You can read more about this story at 5 Year Old Pennsylvania Girl Left Unattended in Day Care Center Van.
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 including an article on Transporation, School Injuries, Medical Care and Treatment, Automobile Accidents, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.