What Measures and Reminders can be Used by Child Care Providers to Remove Children From the Bus, Van, or Vehicle? (Child Safety is Job One)
In Florida and other states, the heat during the summer months as well as other times of the year present a constant danger to children being transported by day care centers, summer camp, schools, parents, relatives, and friends. It is vital that children are removed from a vehicle when the destination is reached. A quick run in to the dry cleaners, school, convenience store, and other locations can result in serious personal injuries and even death to a child left behind. For this article, the focus is heat related complications and illnesses; however, a child, who is left alone, in a vehicle can choke on small object, get his or her head caught in a power windows, become entangled or even strangulated by a seat belt, mobile phone wire, or other object, and otherwise get injured or harmed in other ways. It is important that all hazards are removed form the vehicle and that a child is never - ever left unattended in a vehicle. The safety of the child should always take priority over the convenience of the driver or adult supervisors. In this day and age, we just have too many distractions in place that take our attention away from what is the most important job at hand - the proper supervision of children. Here are some tips to keep in mind and use when transporting children. Following these and other safety measures can save a child from the harm or injury associated with heat exposure.
- Never ever leave a child unattended in a vehicle;
- When running into a store or location for an errand, always bring the child in with you. The safest place for the child is with the adult. If you are going to an unsafe place or one that is not suitable for a child, then do not bring the child with you. Make other arrangements.
- Use a stuffed animal as a reminder to remove the child from the vehicle. Put the stuffed animal in the front seat. If there is a stuffed animal in the front seat when you reach the destination, this will serve as a reminder to remove the child from the vehicle.
- Make it a habit of opening the back door to the vehicle any time that you make a stop regardless if there is a child in the vehicle or not. This will put a habit in place to insure that no child is every left alone or unattended in the vehicle.
- Use the drive thru areas whenever possible. This is much safer than leaving the child behind.
- Put the phone away. Phone calls and texts can be distracting especially if you are in the midst of a call when you reach your destination. You may be so involved with the call or issue at hand that you forget all about the child.
Of course, these are just a few of many safety measures that can be put in place. The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - has chapters on Automobile School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Theme Park and Attraction Injuries, Water Park and Swimming Injuries and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.