Be On The Safe Side: Field Trip & Transportation Safety
While transportation services are provided year-round by many child care facilities, it becomes even more vital to ensure children are delivered safely to their destination during the hot summer months. Safe travel includes checking vehicles to ensure all children have exited the vehicle. Failure to check on every rider can have tragic results.
With summer in full swing, there is an increase in the number of children in child care. The Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) reminds all child care facilities to practice safe travel during routine transportation, as well as field trips. Transporting children is a high-risk activity. Child care operators, staff members, and parents need to be aware that transporting children requires careful planning and proactive, protective measures to ensure the safety of all children and staff. Careful planning also reduces liability for child care operators and their programs.
Before transporting any child, carefully review all child care rules and laws regarding the transportation of children, and train any staff participating in transportation. Providers can also find helpful information on safe transportation in the Child Care Handbook. For North Carolina occupant restraint laws, including child passenger safety laws, refer to www.buckleupnc.org.
Another great resource is Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization "dedicated to preventing injuries in children, the number one killer of kids in the United States." Their website, www.safekids.org, provides valuable information about safety in and around cars.
KidsandCars.org is committed to "preventing injuries and death to children in or around motor vehicles." The non-profit organization provides education and information regarding concerns, like injuries from power windows, trunk entrapment, vehicles accidentally set into motion by children, visual blockage of children while backing up or driving forward, and children left unattended in vehicles (resulting in heat stroke and sometimes death).
When you are transporting children, take an extra moment to double check the vehicle to ensure all children have exited.
A few extra minutes could save a child's life!