This post was guest-written by Cindy Diaz.
This summer in Georgia, the one thing that has been on everyone’s mind is the heat and the temperature inside your vehicle. With terrifying headlines in the news, our concern for transportation safety increases. We want to do everything in our power to prevent more incidences, like these horrific ones, from occurring. The only way to prevent Hot Car Death is through proper education and precautions. With the Georgia heat beaming down and Summer Camp field trips in full swing, as a parent, I wanted to know how my child was being kept safe as she rides the center’s bus to events. As a part of The Bridge Learning Center team, I have the privilege of having a bird’s eye view of all the procedures implemented by our centers.
Before the headlines rang with horror, we at The Bridge Learning Center received multiple transportation trainings through the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning program known as Bright From the Start. Each driver and staff member is required to have current CPR and First Aid certification, in the event of an emergency. I can rest assured that my daughter has someone with her that knows how to respond properly to an emergency situation and provide her with appropriate lifesaving care. No student is allowed to be on a bus with temperature 80 degrees or higher. The bus has to remain on with appropriate climate control. I worry as a mom about my child falling asleep and being left on the bus. I can rest assured because my center has the driver check each child on the bus and off the bus and they have to check above and below every seat twice before a director comes and does an additional walk through of the bus.
Each student is also geared with individual water bottles on field trips to ensure that they stay hydrated. The transportation training is more in-depth and covers more safety concerns to prevent more injure and accidents on the bus. I am overjoyed that with all bad media about “Hot Car Deaths” happening, I can count on The Bridge Learning Centers to help prevent it. My “mommy fears” will never fully go away when it comes to my children but they are definitely eased because I have a childcare center I can trust.
Some tips to help prevent over-heating in your personal vehicles are to not get distracted while in the car, you can do this by talking your child or playing a game for the duration of the trip. Keeping a constant air flow while in your vehicle at all times, whether that is with the AC or rolled down window, is a good way to keep the heat from rising in your car. Another tip is to have water available when you ride in your car to offer to your passengers, this will help prevent dehydration. My last “words of wisdom” is that you can prevent Hot Car Death because Hot Car Death is indeed, 100% preventable.