June 20th, 2014 | Sterling
School’s Out! FBI Summer Safety Tips For Employers
Kids across the country are jumping for joy and trading in their knapsacks for water balloons, ice cream, and outdoor fun in the sun. With school wrapping up for the year and summer vacation officially here, children and their parents are excited for what the next two months will bring; however, the FBI wants employers of children’s programs to take some important summer safety precautions.
Screen Your Employees
Most parents cannot afford to take the summer off to stay home with their children so they turn to a variety of child care options, including community day camps, summer nannies, and daycare centers. As an employer serving children, you can put parents’ minds at ease by conducting rigorous references with past employers, friends, or neighbors. Additionally, you can conduct background screening to specifically check criminal history and see if your employees are listed on any sex offender registries.
Parent Meet and Greet
Before parents enroll their child in your summer program, you should consider inviting them to your facility so they can meet the employees who will be caring for their children. This is a good opportunity to talk to them about child safety and the policies or measures you’ve put in place to prevent any harm to the program’s participants. You may also wish to provide parents with information on the safety precautions you have taken, including the background checks on all employees, first aid certifications and any safety training provided.
Observe and Protect
You should take a moment to observe how your employees interact with the children. Pay particular attention to anyone who shows a specific child significantly more attention than is given to other children or anyone who tries to offer children gifts. If an employee is unusually friendly or generous with a child, it does not necessarily mean they have harmful intentions, but be sure to talk with them further to find out the cause of the behavior and communicate acceptable boundaries.
Encourage Parents To Talk To Their Children
One of the best ways parents can be prepared is to talk to their children about boundaries and safety. Parents and child care providers should take measures to prepare children for emergencies, such as providing them with contact numbers or explaining what to do if they get separated from their group. The other reason to have open dialogue with children is to make them feel comfortable so they can express any feelings or concerns about the care they are receiving. Let them know that it is okay to tell a trusted adult about things that have happened or things that are bothering them.
The FBI has also developed a free Child ID App that lets parents enter current information about their child, including recent photos for quick access in the event that the child goes missing. More information on this app and the specific tips that were released by the FBI can be found by visiting their website.
This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.