Unexpected Hazards and Bus Runs


The Colorado regulations applicable to less-than-24-hour care include many specifics.  7.702.91(c) of those regulations provides that “Volatile substances such as gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, and oil- based paints, firearms, explosives, and other hazardous items must not be stored in any area of the building used for child care. Plastic bags and sharp tools and instruments must be stored in areas inaccessible to children.” (emphasis added)

What does this mean? What are “hazards”?

Hazards are anything that contain a warning; anything that should not be around children.  Hazards include:

  • Lipstick, lotion, perfume, lipbalm (almost anything in your purse);
  • Office supplies – liquid paper, white out, staples;
  • Medication;
  • Plug-in air fresheners (many are flammable);
  • Anything marked “keep out of reach of children” including toothpaste, sunscreen, antibacterial hand wash, etc.
  • Cigarettes;
  • Tiny art supplies and other chokables in any areas where children under 3 learn, play or walk – google eyes, Styrofoam sticker, pompoms (keep choketubes in every room where kiddos under 3 spend time);
  • Cleaning supplies;
  • Many things in your kiddos’ backpacks;
  • Plastic bags (a biggie);
  • Diapering supplies;
  • Cooking supplies;
  • Sharp scissors;
  • Knives used for cutting fruit for snack;
  • Art supplies; and
  • Anything else you are worried about!

Bus Runs

Bus runs.  Can’t beat ‘em, can’t refuse to do ‘em. 

Even with all of the possible perils, I love bus runs almost as much as I hate sending my kids on playdates (unnecessary, but honest, digression in that sentence).  Summertime is a great time to revisit bus run procedures, and your name-to-face protocol.  Every year, well-meaning, kid-loving educators leave sleepy kiddos on the bus.  Avoid this unintended neglect by paying attention to the strategies available to you.

  • Create a name-to-face sheet for each bus run.
  • Be sure your process accounts for day-to-day changes in lists of kiddos who are on each bus.
  • Practice walking to the back of the bus…every time … and looking under the seats.
  • Use call and response verbal cues: “I am taking 8 kids off of the bus and bringing them into the center”, asking the front desk to validate the number and ages of kids.
  • Create a system that has a double-check.  When possible, use two different people to confirm that you have the right kids from school X returning to center Y.

The great thing about practicing perfect bus runs goes beyond safe fieldtrips.  The muscle memory created by safe bus runs can create safer intra-center transportation of kids from one from room to another. 

Laura J. Hazen is a co-founder of the law firm of H&K Law, LLC.  In her employment practice, Hazen provides day-to-day advice and coaching to public and private companies on various employment matters.  She also has an active litigation practice where she concentrates on representing business in all aspects of complex business and employment disputes.  You can contact her by email at lhazen@hklawllc.com or by phone at 303.749.0649.

This article is intended as a general discussion and information on the topic covered, and is not to be construed as rendering legal advice.  If legal advice is needed, you should consult an attorney.  This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without prior written permission of the author.

© 2014 H&K Law, LLC.  These materials may not be reproduced in any way without the written permission of H&K Law, LLC.