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Lawyer Says Failed Alarm Resulted In Boy Being Left In Van

On the evening of Tuesday, September 17th around 6 p.m., a woman out walking with her young daughter noticed a 4-year-old boy wandering around the parking lot of a closed Pompano Beach child care center. Seeing that the child was distraught and repeatedly pulling at the facility's locked door, she called out to him. The boy ran to her asking where his mommy was.
 
The boy told the woman he awakened in the center's van, removed his seatbelt and exited the van only to find the center closed for the evening. The woman called 911.
 
"The child was left in a day care van; he got out and was found walking in the parking lot," Broward sheriff's spokeswoman Gina Carter said Tuesday. She added that the boy is in good condition and in the care of family.
 
The family has many questions for the child care center.
 
The Broward Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit and the Florida Department of Children and Families are both investigating the incident, officials said. Carter said that as of Tuesday no one has been arrested.

Why This Is A Bad Idea

I received a phone call recently that got me thinking about the approved pick up list you utilize in your school. A client called and asked for my input when a parent wanted a minor child to be an approved pick up person for their 6-year-old daughter.

I did some research and learned quite a bit. Very few states have laws specifying how old someone must be to babysit. This leaves us in legal limbo when trying to decide if the minor can be on the pick up list. Since legal limbo is uncomfortable, I did a lot more digging and I discovered that even in those states that don't have laws specifying the required age of a babysitter, most of them do have settled court cases tht make the parent or guardian responsible when a child is left with someone under the age of 16 (in some states 18).

As a care provider, you fall within the role of guardian during the hours the child is with you. So, when you release a child, at that moment in time, you are the guardian. If you release the child to someone under the age of 16 (or 18) you are still legally liable for hat happens to that child.

How The Wrong Bookcase Cost One School Six Figures

If I asked you to close your eyes and imagine the most dangerous piece of equipment on your school grounds, I suspect you would see an eight foot slide, or a merry-go-round, or the swing set...Am I right, was it a piece of playground equipment in your mind's eye?

Well, statistically, I'm going to agree with you. We see many more injuries from the playground each year than we do from inside the classrooms. The story that follows, however, could happen to anyone and it was so unexpected to me that I thought yopu might benefit from hearing the story.
 
In one school, a teacher working in the toddler room was changing a diaper. The changing table was situated in such a way that the teacher could see the entire room while changing a diaper. This is exactly the type of arrangement that is necessary to maintain supervision.
 
While changing one child's diaper, another child decided that it would be a grand idea to climb the bookcase. The bookcase was a rack arrangement that displayed books in a way that is visually appealing to children. The teacher verbally corrected the child, telling him to put his feet back on the floor. Unfortunately, she could not physically intervene because she had a child on the changing table.

Baby's Death In Car Seat Leads to Arrest of Child Care Provider

Elizabeth Harding, an unlicensed Omaha, Nebraska child care provider, was told several times by Chris and Jennifer Hunter not to let their 1-year-old son Chase sleep in his car seat.
 
She decided to ignore that request and allowed the little boy to sleep in his car seat with it partially unbuckled.
 
That decision, prosecutors now allege, lead to the little boy's death by strangulation
 
Chase died at Children's Hospital & Medical Center after Harding found him unconscious in his car seat. Investigators say Chase squirmed in his seat while napping and the unbuckled harness became wrapped around his neck and strangled him.

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