Child Care Providers Urged to Comply

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    FURTHER INFORMATION:
May 25, 2000                                                                                                                                                 Patricia Harris-Morehead at
                                                                                                                                                                       (615) 313-4707 or Brenda Ramsey
                                                                                                                                                                       at (615) 313-4778

CHILD CARE PROVIDERS URGED TO COMPLY WITH DHS TRANSPORTATION RULES TO AVOID HEAT-RELATED ACCIDENTS THIS SUMMER.

NASHVILLE— With summer approaching, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) is urging child care providers, parents, and other caregivers of children NOT to leave children unattended in parked vehicles at any time. Officials say the result of a child being forgotten in a car or child care van can be deadly.

"We all grieved for the families of the children who lost their lives last year and hope such careless accidents never occur again," state Human Services Commissioner Natasha Metcalf said. “To prevent such tragedies, we immediately implemented more detailed transportation rules for providers who transport children. We expect all providers and their staffs to be thoroughly familiar and trained on the procedures.”

Metcalf said she also hopes parents and caregivers will be mindful of the horrendous accidents that could occur when young children are left without adult supervision in a vehicle. "Most people want to believe that such a scenario would not happen to them or anyone they know, but it only takes a minute or less for a child to shift a gear on a car that is left with the motor running. And as demonstrated by recent incidents, it only takes a moment for a child care van driver or caregiver to get distracted and leave a child unattended.”

According to state child care transportation rules: