Every working day, the safety of nearly 68 million U.S. children is in the hands of school officials and caregivers. Most parents assume that when they drop their kids off for the day, they will be safe if disaster strikes. But two-thirds of our nation’s states do not require basic emergency preparedness regulations for child care facilities and schools.
For the fifth consecutive year, Save the Children assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia on four basic disaster preparedness and safety standards for children in child care and at school.
In addition to evaluating every state’s basic emergency preparedness for children, this year’s report highlights a critical standard which every state should have in place to address the needs of the most vulnerable children attending child care—infants and toddlers, as well as children with disabilities and those with access or functional needs. More than half of the states fail to account for these children in their emergency preparedness plans.
The Results Are In:
“We as a nation have a moral obligation to protect the most vulnerable during disasters. Children—especially those who are too young to protect themselves or who have disabilities that require additional assistance—are counting on us to ensure their safety and well-being. And yet, more than half of the states’ emergency preparedness regulations fail to account for the needs of those who are most at risk of injury and neglect. That’s simply unacceptable.” – Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President, Save the Children’s U.S. Programs.
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