Colonial Day School Incorporated
6510 N. Military Highway
Norfolk, VA 23518
Current Inspector: Emily Walsh (757) 404-2575
Inspection Date: Nov. 17, 2015
Complaint Related: No
- Areas Reviewed:
22VAC40-185 STAFF QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING.
22VAC40-185 STAFFING AND SUPERVISION.
22VAC40-185 SPECIAL SERVICES.
63.2 Child Abuse and Neglect
22VAC40-191 Background Checks (22VAC40-191)
An unannounced "other" on-site inspection was conducted on 11/17/2015 in response to a self-reported incident that occurred on 10/27/2015. The director reported that a child had received a concussion during the ride to public school. This investigation was initiated on 10/28/2015 and concluded on 12/11/2015. Based on the information gathered, violations have been found in the following areas of the Standards For Licensed Child Day Centers: Staffing and Supervision and Special Services. Please complete the "plan of correction" for each violation cited on the violation notice and return it to me within 10 calendar days from today. You will need to specify how the deficient practice will be or has been corrected. Just writing the word "corrected" is not acceptable. Your plan of correction must contain: 1) steps to correct the noncompliance with the standard(s), 2) measures to prevent the noncompliance from occurring again; and 3) person(s) responsible for implementing each step and/or monitoring any preventive measure(s).
Standard #: 22VAC40-185-340-A Description: Based on interview, observation and record review, the center failed to ensure that when staff are supervising children, they shall always ensure there care and protection. Evidence: 1. Staff failed to ensure the care and protection of a 10 year old child when child #1 sustained a concussion during transportation to an elementary school on the morning of 10/27/2015. The route traveled that day was through a neighborhood with 4 speed humps. a. Speed humps have a depth (front to back) of 153 inches and run the entire width of the road. Each speed hump has a posted speed limit of 15 MPH and contains eight painted warning strips on the pavement directly in front of and behind each hump. 2. All of the nine children on the van were placed in booster seats. 7 of the 9 children ranged in age from 8 to 11 years. a. Staff #1, staff #2 and the 4 children interviewed stated it was the routine of the center for all children to be placed in booster seats regardless of age. b. Staff #1 and staff #2 confirmed that they did not conduct any type of height measurement to ascertain if the children met the "best practice"height requirement for booster seat use. 3. Child #1 stated that she hit her head on the interior light fixture on the ceiling of the center van when the van drove over the 4th of 4 speed humps quickly. a. Child #3 stated everyone went up and she also hit her head on the van ceiling when they went over the 4th hump. b. Child #2 stated he hit his hand on the window when they went over the hump. c. Child #4 recalled that everyone bounced when the van drove over the 4th speed hump. 4. Staff #2 reports that an internal investigation conducted by the center revealed that child #1 had taken her seat belt off and was bouncing up and down in an attempt to touch the ceiling of van as the van drove over the speed humps. a.. Child #2 stated the the children in the van were asking staff #1 to go over the speed humps fast because they liked to bounce up as the van drove over the humps. b. The four children interviewed report they were all buckled into their seat belts when the van drove over the 4th speed hump. c. Staff #1 stated she did not observe the children bouncing up and down or removing their seat belts as her focus was on driving. 5. Staff #1 recalled she had to stop the vehicle after driving over the third speed hump because she noted that a child had changed seats. Staff #1 indicated she pulled the van to the side of the road and turned the engine off. She then unbuckled her seat belt, turned around and conducted a visual inspection of each child to confirm they all had their seat belts secured. Staff #1 further explained she verbally asked each child if they had their seat belts on. Staff #1 confirmed that she did not get out of her seat to ensure that each of the 9 children were properly secured in their seat belts and booster seats. 6. Child #1 stated her head began to hurt after she made contact with the van ceiling. Child #1 stated, "I felt dizzy, my head hurt and I was crying." a. The four children interviewed verified that child #1 was crying and repeatedly stated her head hurt after she bounced up and made contact with the van roof. 7. Staff #1 stated she did not see child #1 hit her head however, child #1 verbally told her, "I hit my head when you went over the speed bump and I hit the light fixture." Staff #1 also noted that child #3 also told her, at this time, that she had hit her head on the van ceiling when the vehicle crossed over the 4th speed bump. 8. Staff #1 took child #1 to the school nurse upon arrival to the school at 8:50am. The nurse contacted the parent of child #1 as child #1 continued to complain of a headache. 9. Child #1 was taken to a local urgent care center where she was diagnosed with a head injury/concussion. The concussion was verified by a second medical facility . Plan of Correction: Colonial Day School respectfully disagrees with this finding. After our own investigation we are convinced that this child unbuckled her seat belt prior to the speed hump in order to maximize her bounce for fun. We have statements in which other witnesses on the van confirm this. Also, no other child on the van was hurt because no other child on the van unbuckled their seat belt, despite being urged to do so by the child in question.
With regard to the age matter we also felt her being in a child booster seat would be an extra layer of safety and was in compliance with state regulations.
But the important thing is that a similar incident doesn't happen again. With that in mind CDS is taking the following preventive actions.
1. Van drivers will revise routes to avoid roads with speed bumps/humps.
2. As of February 15, 2016 we will have designated safety patrols to assist van drivers in maintaining all safety procedures.
3. A letter will be sent to parents of all children transported to discuss the importance of staying buckled in their seat belts while on vans.
4. A meeting of all transported children will be held within 5 days at which time the center director will discuss with the children the importance of keeping their seat belts buckled.
5. Van drivers will continue implementing our current policies for checking that all children are buckled in before leaving CDS or their public schools van move.
6. Only children under the age of 8 years will be placed in a booster seat regardless of height or weight.
7. The center will form a safety committee, comprised of center director, 2 lead teachers, 1 parent, and 1 lay person to meet quarterly to review potential safety issues at the center, including our transportation policy. Records of these meetings will be available for licensing review.
8. CDS is currently researching dash video cam equipment and plans to have them installed on both vans as soon as possible. Once installations take place our transportation policy will be updated and forwarded to the licensing department.
CDS hopes that the above actions will demonstrate to licensing and to our families our deep commitment to the safety of all children in our care. In 35 years of transporting thousands of children this was the first incident where a child was hurt. Hopefully, the above actions and the dedicated continued service of our van drivers will help ensure that it will never happen again.
Although we feel strongly that this child's own actions played a major role in this matter, our goal is to learn from it and minimize the possibility of another child ever being in the same situation.
Standard #: 22VAC40-185-580-C Description: Based on interview and observation, the center failed to ensure that during transportation of children that Virginia state statutes about safety belts and child restraints are followed. Evidence: 1. The child booster seat in use by child #1 on 10/27/2015 was expired. "Do not use after 2013" was stamped into the plastic of the bottom of the booster seat. Further review of the booster seats in the center van found a total of 3 booster seats that had expired. All were stamped, "Do not use after 2013." The director and staff #1 confirmed that these booster seats were in use by children during transport to a local elementary school on 10/27/2015. a. Staff #2 stated she was not aware the booster seats had expired until viewed by the inspector on 11/17/2015. b. Information provided by the manufacturer confirmed that the booster seats should not be used after the expiration date listed on the bottom due to potential for defect and deterioration. The manufacturer's representative further explained that expired booster seats would no longer provide proper protection in the event of an accident. 2. Virginia's child restraint device law states that child restraint devices are required for children through the age of 7 (until 8th birthday). The law is based solely on age, with no weight or height requirement. a. 7 of the 9 children transported on 10/27/2015 were 8 years of age thru 11 years of age. b. The 4 children interviewed, child #1 (10 year old), child #2 (11 year old), child #3 ( 9 year old) and child #4 ( 8 year old) stated they were riding in a booster seat on the morning of 10/27/2015 and that they were always placed in booster seats during the ride to and from school each day. c. Staff #1 and staff #2 further confirmed that it was the usual practice for all children, regardless of age) to ride in booster seats during transportation. Plan of Correction: CDS was unaware child safety booster seats had expiration dates. On the day this was realized any booster seats with an expired date were discarded and new ones was purchased. (Except the one that was used by the child in question; this seat has been kept to be evaluated). Although we are still unaware of any state or federal regulations that address this issue we are more than willing to follow licensing's recommendation that we use a "best practices" approach on this issue rather than a stricter interpretation of licensing standards.
Thus, going forward, no child booster seat will be used past its expiration date. All booster seats will be registered and their expiration dates will be noted in an office journal and monitored by the center director. At its expiration date the expired seat will be discarded and replaced. While the seat used by this child was technically expired it appears to be in fine working condition; not at all in a state of diminished quality. But we are more than willing to take a more proactive approach with regard to child safety seat expiration dates.
A compliance history is in no way a rating for a facility.
The online compliance history includes only information after July 1, 2003. In addition, the online compliance history includes information regarding adverse actions that may be the subject of a pending appeal. An adverse action is not final until a provider has exhausted or waived all due process rights. For compliance history prior to July 1, 2003, or information regarding the status of pending adverse actions, please contact the Licensing Inspector listed in the facility's information. The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) is not responsible for any errors in or omissions from the compliance history information.