Articles Posted in Government Studies

Weight.jpgThe federal government is considering a ban on junk food in public schools; the purpose of the ban is to help keep children from becoming obese. The ban would prohibit sugar loaded sodas, candy bars, pastries and salty snacks from being sold on school property. If the ban goes through, all public schools in the United States will have to replace sodas in the machines with healthy alternatives like water and juice.

While the ban may make sugary snack less available to Florida kids, it may also have a huge impact on lucrative vending contracts that Jacksonville, Florida schools districts use to support athletic programs and other extracurricular activities. It is unclear if kids will want to pay as much for healthy alternatives as they do for sodas.

Last year the Duval, Clay and St. Johns county school districts made $2.4 million in extra cash through exclusive beverage contracts with PepsiCo. School officials are very worried that they would not be able to make up such a large loss through other means.

MissingChild.jpgAccording to a report compiled by the Every Child Matters Education Fund, titled “We can do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect deaths in the U.S.,” Florida ranks third in the US for child deaths caused by abuse or neglect. Texas ranks first and California second. According to the report, 153 children died due to abuse or neglect in the State of Florida. But the report adds that underreporting of these types of incidents may mean that the real number is much higher. According to federal statistics, over ten thousand children died in the US from abuse or neglect between the years 2001 and 2007.

In the report, fatal child abuse encompasses repeated abuse that leads to battered child syndrome, or a single incidence of fatal abuse. Fatal neglect is defined as the child dying from a caregiver’s failure to act, whether that is over a long period of time or in a single incident, such as failing to supervise the child properly. Also included in the report are figures on child poverty in Florida; of the four million children living in Florida in 2007, nearly 700,000 were living in poverty.

It is a shame that Florida has earned this distinction. All children everywhere, no matter what their economic status, deserve to be loved and protected by their parents, their extended families, their schools, and the community at large.

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CBS Television 4 based in Miami, Florida conducted an investigation into safety standards and deficiencies into day care centers in South Florida. The investigation led by reporter – Stephen Stock involved the review of over 7000 paper inspection reports of day care centers. With this information, an interactive map was created by geographic region showing the day care center and reports of deficiencies. I commend the I Team at CBS 4 for publishing this important information that can be very valuable to parents researching day care centers for their children. You can read more about this investigation and access the link for the map at Safety Standards Lacking at Many South Florida Day Care Centers.

Unfortunately, parents typically have no notice as to a problem or deficiency at a day care center until their Florida child is seriously injured by the negligence, carelessness, or lack of supervision at the day care center. Owners and day care personnel have a duty to supervision and protect small children at Florida day care centers from every day dangers whether they are present in the classroom, playground, or any other part of the day care facility.