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Legal Matters October 2008

Submitted by jrlaw on Oct 10th, 2008

In This Issue:

Boy Walks Away From Denton Daycare Unnoticed

Dangers of Hot Vehicles

Boy Walks Away From Denton Daycare Unnoticed

We have written on numerous occasions about the importance of choosing the right daycare center. With cases of daycare abuse increasing substantially over the past few decades, it’s no wonder parents are thinking twice about where they leave their children.

Last week, a daycare center in Denton managed to drop the ball - big time. A 5-year-old boy was somehow able to leave the facility and go on a trip that took him over half a mile away, through one of the busiest traffic areas in town.

On July 23, the boy walked out of Imagination Station sometime around 5:00 p.m. He made his way down the road to a Pep Boys auto parts store and took a pack of gum before he left, unnoticed. He then crossed Dallas Drive, a busy roadway to the city from Highway 35E, and entered a convenience store. A security video showed the boy taking yet another pack of gum from the front counter and then walking to the back of the store and taking a root beer from the refrigerator.

Five minutes later the boy ended up at a Hooters restaurant, where he was noticed by employees. He walked in and looked around briefly, then left. Luckily, the Hooters employees promptly called the police, who found the boy outside playing near the service road for the interstate!

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services quickly ordered the daycare to cease operation. Amazingly, an investigation showed that the daycare center was cited earlier this year for a similar incident.

The moral of the story? Be careful where you leave your children.

Dangers of Hot Vehicles

August is traditionally the hottest month of the summer in North Texas. With temperatures that push into the triple digits, people are advised to take extra care to stay cool and hydrated. One of the most unfortunate events that occurs along with the Texas heat, is hot car fatalities. Cars become ovens in the Texas heat!

This year, there have been over 23 children nationwide that have died from hyperthermia (heat stroke) after being left in cars. Two of these deaths have been in North Texas and have occurred in the past two weeks. The first death happened in Oak Cliff at Tyne Gifted Achievers daycare center.

What’s appalling about this particular case is the fact that Tyne Gifted achievers had been inspected over 11 times in the past year and 32 violations were found. In fact, an investigation in February found 17 children in a van with only one adult who was not trained in first aid. This kind of negligence was inevitably what caused the death of a child.

Yet another death occurred in North Texas a week later after a family spent an afternoon at a water park. A toddler was left in a car for over an hour on a Sunday afternoon, with temperatures exceeding 101 degrees. Emergency workers attempted CPR, but unfortunately they were not successful in reviving the child. Now, the parents of the boy are facing charges of negligence.

I recently interviewed Jan Null, a certified consulting meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services, about the details around hot car deaths. What he told me was quite surprising. For instance, did you know that over 20% of children who die in hot cars are left there INTENTIONALLY? Mr. Null said he recently heard of a case where a toddler was left in a car in a mall parking lot, as the father went inside to see the new Batman movie.

Mr. Null said that on a hot day, temperatures inside of a car can raise 45-50 degrees higher than outside of the car. On an 80 degree day that’s over 120 degrees!

I asked Mr. Null what people can do to prevent this from happening to their children and he said that people need to have a ?zero tolerance? policy for leaving children in the car. Sometimes, he says, parents simply forget about the child. Mr. Null says that a good technique for reminding oneself of the baby is to leave a briefcase or teddy bear in the front seat as long as there is a child in the back. Also, it is important to communicate to children that cars are not a ?play area?. There have been cases were youngsters were simply playing inside the hot car, became overwhelmed by the heat, and lost consciousness.

Of all the states where hot car deaths occur, Texas and Oklahoma have the highest number of recorded incidents. Please, do your part and spread the word about how dangerous hot cars can be.

For more information, you can visit Mr. Null’s website at http://ggweather.com.

The Rasansky Law Firm's Laws of Humor

In Illinois, it is illegal for anyone to give cats, dogs, or other domesticated animals a lighted cigar.

In Kentucky, a female shall not appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state.

In New Orleans, fire code outlaws the cursing of firefighters while they are in the performance of their duties.

In New York, a license must be purchased before hanging clothes on a clothesline.

In New York City, citizens may not greet each other by "putting one's thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers".

In Oxford, Ohio, it is unlawful for a woman to appear in public while unshaven. This includes legs and face.

In North Carolina, it is illegal to hold more than two sessions of bingo per week, and those sessions may not exceed 5 hours each session.