No Fences Required to Protect Children

Vermont safety officials are unable to enforce regulations regarding fencing around water at child care facilities following the drowning death of a three-year-old boy at Elephant in the Field on February 11th. It’s not that officials wouldn’t like to enforce these regulations, but rather that no such regulations exist. And while there were additional conditions in this family home child care center’s licensing due to enhanced dangers, the State cannot require fencing be built around potential drowning hazards. This, however, does not reduce the child care provider from liability should they be found guilty of negligence.

That common sense regulations often require a death is tragic. That this particular oversight in regulation is only being brought to light following the death of a small child is more tragic still. Yet even when regulations do exist, negligence can and all too often does result in a loss of life.


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