Earlier this year, a toddler from a small childcare center in Vermont wandered away from his group during outdoor play. When the child’s parents arrived to pick him up, his teachers realized he had been missing for hours. After a frantic search, he was found in a stream on the property. The child died the next day, leaving behind a devastated family and prosecutors contemplating charges for the childcare providers.…continue reading the rest of Toddler Wanders Away from Childcare Center
We spend all winter looking forward to long, sunny days. Then finally summer arrives, bringing some beautiful weather. But summer also can bring dangerous storms with flooding, tornadoes, and lightning. Last Thursday in Duluth, Minnesota, a severe thunderstorm rolled through in the early morning hours. Winds were clocked at over 80 mph in some parts of the region. Local TV and radio stations were knocked off the air. Residents awoke to trees and power lines all over the ground. Yesterday it was reported there were still 7000 homes and businesses without power, five long days after the storm. Imagine if this had happened to your organization in the middle of the day. Are you prepared?
Every year, as the weather gets warmer, tragedies involving children and hot vehicles appear in the news. These stories are always so devastating. The fear felt by the child and the extreme guilt by the parent or caregiver is heartbreaking. Just in the last few weeks, there have been several examples from all over the country:…continue reading the rest of Summer Heartbreak: Hot Cars and Kids
Last year at a summer camp in North Carolina, a 12-year-old girl fell more than 40 feet to her death when a tether attaching her to the camp’s zip line snapped. The camp had dual zip lines and somehow the lines became tangled. Her tether essentially melted from the friction.…continue reading the rest of Camper Loses Her Life in Tragic Zip Line Accident
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sadly, I continue to hear stories about childcare providers abusing or neglecting children all the time. Parents searching for childcare shouldn’t have to worry about their children being hurt. I worked for many years in the childcare industry and have helped my friends investigate childcare centers they were considering for their children. Luckily, here in Wisconsin, all state inspection and licensing reports are available online.…continue reading the rest of Choosing the Right Childcare: Understanding State Licensing Reports
Take a kid to a party with a bounce house and chances are you won’t see them for long. Most kids are thrilled to jump and flip in these inflatables for hours. Bounce houses and other inflatables seem to be at every church picnic and child birthday party, providing endless entertainment for kids and even adults. However, injuries are on the rise and some of these injuries can be life threatening.…continue reading the rest of Bounce Houses: Growing in Popularity and Serious Injuries
Last month, a talented swimmer on the Dartmouth College swim team was exercising in a Florida YMCA pool while on vacation with his family. After a challenging 4000-yard swim set, he attempted four laps across the pool without taking a breath. Unfortunately, he was not successful.…continue reading the rest of Drowning Tragedy at YMCA Pool
A client walks into a community organization with a large dog. The dog doesn’t have a vest or badge identifying it as a service animal and the person is not blind. The organization has a clear sign prohibiting animals on the premises. The person states the dog is their service animal. What should the organization do?…continue reading the rest of Do I Have to Let that Dog in Here?
West Bend's loss prevention representatives spend a lot of time in the field working with non-profit, youth-focused, and community-based customers. Like most homes and businesses, our customers own a lot of stuff. From extra toys to fitness equipment, it's hard to find space for everything. Most people might think, "So what? It's just some clutter...it's not a big deal."
But sometimes it is a big deal.…continue reading the rest of Dangerously Cluttered Spaces
I am very excited to introduce Kayla Olson, CultureOfSafety.com's newest contributor. Kayla will serve as the site's Childcare Editor. Her extensive background working in the childcare industry for more than a decade provides West Bend and CultureOfSafety.com with a powerful and informed voice.
Kayla's primary role with West Bend will involve finding common ground between the realities of working with children and West Bend's desire to help youth-focused organizations manage risks.
What follows below is a brief interview I had…continue reading the rest of Introducing Kayla Olson, Our New Childcare Editor