The vicious circle of children left sleeping in hot cars and school buses

Excellent school bus drivers/aides and loving parents alike are demonized by a mob mentality even though the science proves the actual cause is not lazy bus drivers or lazy parents that do not care about their kids. Story comments alluding to, "I would never forget my child, like that person did," have no basis in fact.

By James Kraemer, [Article updated Aug. 7, 2012]

Earlier this year one of many stories covering children left sleeping on school buses reported that a school bus driver had left a four-year-old child sleeping alone on a Mansfield (Ohio) school district bus for five hours before anyone noticed that she was missing. The mother claimed it was six hours before anyone noticed.

The mother said she never received a call from the school asking where her child was. She later learned that the bus had mechanical problems and took the students to the bus barn where they changed buses. (There, her child was left on the bus alone.)

The parent and school officials first searched the school, then looked in the bus garage where they found the four-year-old "sweating, upset, and having to go to the bathroom. According to NBC4i News, the school district admitted there were two adults on board, and that both of them missed the child. The bus driver and aide were terminated. Reportedly, the parent is suing the school district.

Public comments from the story hammered away at the bus driver and aide...

“If there was ever a time for a 0% tolerance program this would be it. There is absolutely no excuse for laziness and that’s what occurred here....”

And another. “Now we wait to see how the strong arm of the union tries to get these jobs back. There is absolutely no reason for these two people to have their jobs back!”

In June, a veteran school bus driver at the Manteca Unified School District in California inadvertently left a child sleeping on her school bus. KTXL-TV reported that the girl was on the bus for about an hour when a maintenance worker discovered her. The girl wasn’t injured by her ordeal. Her parents were notified and the she was taken back to her class.

But in this case Assistant Superintendent Don Halseth reported that the bus driver was very concerned,” He said of the woman, who is a veteran bus driver for the district. “She won’t lose her job.”

One viewer comment at the story’s source...

“She should lose her job. I wouldn't allow my child to ride her bus again.”

Virtually every time when this issue reaches the press the viewer hears or reads that the bus driver was suspended and is facing termination. Later reports may include criminal charges of some sort and a real potential for jail time and fines.

The driver caught up in these events did not commit sexual abuse, not murder, was not on illegal drugs or drunk, did not bully the child, rarely is a serious injury involved, and may have drove school bus for decades with a stellar record. Yet, one of the safest and unintentional events that can happen concerning the school buses turns that bus driver in to a child abuser? Imagine your own dad, mom, or grandma going to jail over this issue.

There are a few stories in the press this past year that I read the driver, aide, and manager receiving similar discipline. In one story, the driver and aide were terminated, and the manager was demoted. In another story, the manager was terminated.

This sudden level of punishment escalating in this industry remains odd to me, especially since few if any of the buses involved were equipped with a simple device to help prevent these events.

In virtually all cases where this event occurs, the bus is not equipped with a child check alert device that helps protect both the sleeping child and the bus driver from this procedural error. Two or more adults are often onboard and neither remembers to check the bus?

A school bus not equipped with a child check alert device leave the bus driver and bus aide vulnerable to distractions that can result in the bus not checked. When this happens in this way, and although the driver certainly is one the persons responsible for that failed procedure, the same applies to transportation management and the school that did not display the sense to help protect both the child and the bus driver.

If there is no excuse for their bus drivers missing a child, then most certainly there can be no excuse for the schools and providers to fail to help protect both the child and the bus driver.

The event becomes mitigating, in my opinion, altering what the discipline ought to involve for both the bus driver and for the management involved.

With all that goes on these days concerning children left sleeping in the safety of school buses, I view much of it at too many facilities as lackadaisical in preventive measures, ignores nature and the science, and repeatedly void of an excellent remedy.

The child check device is reported annoying to some bus drivers when caught not checking their bus and the horn starts blasting, and also annoying to have to walk to the back of the bus and push a button within so many seconds.

We can suppose that some must also be annoyed by the alarm that warns the headlights are left on, the keys left in the ignition, that fuel is low, that air brake pressure is low, that the engine is overheating, that an emergency door or window is ajar, and on and on. These are not needed because all drivers always catch these things anyway. Because they never forget?

For those a bit more vulnerable to distractions it would seem ridiculous to accept all the bells and whistles that help protect the bus, yet to act out and be annoyed at an inexpensive device that helps protect both children and the school bus drivers. And in some cases helps protect the provider from frivolous civil suits as well.

An inexpensive device provides an effective reminder to check that bus now, not checked later by someone else looking for a missing child. Any bus driver, and no mater how careful he or she thinks the case, could miss a child and not realize it until it is too late.

If the time allowed to push a button in the back of the bus is not sufficient, decide together what would be sufficient and ask management together as a group to change it.

It’s not rocket science to simply check the bus? Even a NASA rocket scientist forgot his grandchild in a hot car, the child later found deceased. One child to keep track of.


A child sleeping within the safety of the school bus applies to children above three years of age. Older children can regulate body temperature more efficiently helping to cope with higher temperatures for longer periods. Not one of the some hundred thousand older children left sleeping on school buses these past two decades died because the bus driver missed the child check procedure.

Children under three years and especially infants can die within fifteen minutes when left sleeping in a hot car. When a law required placing children in the rear seat faced backward, because airbags where killing too many infants riding in the front seat, five times as many children died. These were faced backward, forgotten, left behind sleeping in the rear seat. One child and one seat behind the driver, and the parent forgot. How is that possible?

Parent after parent claims they will never make this mistake. These claim to care too much to ever make this mistake. Yet, caring loving parent after caring loving parent continue to make this mistake -- an 800-percent increase in deaths over that of airbag deaths after infants were required to be placed in the rear seat, facing backward. Out of sight, out of mind -- Forgotten.


According to NBC News, “A record number of children have died in hot cars this year compared to the first six months of any other year in history.” ~ Aired on August 04, 2010

Seems practical and safer to keep infants in the front seat, and have a switch to turn off the passenger side airbag, like pickups 2000 and newer have installed. Not much reported concerning that remedy while more children continue to die.
 

Photo by K Thompson, GIZMODO
There is a simple device that can help parents remember in the event a child is left sleeping in the vehicle, but trying to get people to buy this safety device is as difficult as trying to pull teeth at home with pliers.

It seems can be perceived as an insult that either parent could possibly forget their child. It is also difficult to find the safety device when you do want it. Consumers actually wanting the safety device may be surprised to discover that few local retailers, if any, sell the device. Only sellers I could find are online. Here is an iPhone app.

I have eighteen grandkids and many relatives and not one parent I'm aware of had an alert system. Both my Mrs. and myself bring it up on occasion, as well as post stories like this one on her and my Facebook pages.

 Fortunately, all my grandchildren are older than the danger zone ages.


The news media reports, "Unfortunately, advocates say, any innovation that technology can produce will run into a surprising obstacle: Many parents simply don’t believe they’re at risk."

Early in this century NASA engineers responded to this issue happening to one of their own by coming up with an inexpensive remedy that no manufacture would market because of marketability and liability concerns. (Video)

In July (2012) NHTSA responded to this issue with a rather bizarre finding.  "While many of these products are well-intended, we cannot recommend parents and caregivers rely on technology to prevent these events from occurring."

And this: “Of the deaths, 30 percent are linked to children getting into unlocked, unattended vehicles while another 17 percent are linked to parents intentionally leaving their children in vehicles. About 51 percent are because parents forget the child was left behind.” ~ The Detroit News

Keep in mind that the NHTSA reports in the media may be unreliable, in my opinion. They fail to mention which devices were most effective, or best currently available. The "CHOP" Report (available on-line) gives some insight concerning the devices studied.

NHTSA also perhaps unintentionally sabotaged the report with irrelevant or otherwise not applicable deterrents against the device. The device usage is misrepresented when reported it can not prevent a child entering an unlocked hot car, or stop someone from deliberately killing a child.

It is also obvious that education helps but is unreliable. Do we stop educating because the science proves the mind just doesn’t work that well to save as many lives as we would like?

Education, a child check device in use, and the courts to deal with the deliberate acts may do more good than harm.


A year before NHTSA's child sensor study for car seats, Consumer Reports tested a variety of in home baby monitors. Some tested unreliable while others tested excellent. The report did not imply abandoning the technology because some are unreliable. Their report helped consumers sort out which devices where the most reliable. The report warns that, "Baby monitors shouldn't be used as a substitute for adult supervision. They should be considered as an extra set of ears--and, in some cases, eyes--that help parents and caregivers keep tabs on sleeping babies. Using one can alert you to a situation before it becomes serious..." CR Buying Guide for subscribers.

KidsAndCars comments in a recent press release, [updated release] "While the [NHTSA] study found that the aftermarket consumer products tested were not always reliable in preventing a child from being unintentionally left behind in a hot vehicle," Fennell said, "KidsAndCars.org recommends using one of these devices as an extra safety layer along with our Look Before You Lock BE SAFE safety precautions:

 Back seat - Put something in the back seat so you have to open the door when leaving the vehicle - cell phone, employee badge, handbag, etc.
 Every child should be correctly restrained in the back seat.
 Stuffed animal - Move it from the car seat to the front seat to remind you when your baby is in the back seat.
 Ask your babysitter or child-care provider to call you within 10 minutes if your child hasn't arrived on time.
 Focus on driving - Avoid cell phone calls and texting while driving.
 Every time you park your vehicle open the back door to make sure no one has been left behind.

One car seat design just introduced that takes this issue to the next level, and that NHTSA did not test is the TOMY International The First Years True Fit™ convertible car seat, which comes equipped with IAlert monitoring technology. If a child is left in the car seat when the vehicle is not in motion, an alert is sent to the caregiver's cell phone. [Video]

Demo Video
No information yet if the device is a retrofit or is engineered specific to that car seat. For more information and to watch a video from the website about The First Years IAlert Convertible Car Seat, visit the TOMY website. The First Years IAlert Convertible Car Seat will be available at retail in Fall 2012. [Full Press Release (PDF)] 

There ought to be no question that a child safety device in any car seat for infants may require a law to get it done. I would be most satisfied were the device required to be engineered and preinstalled within specific car seats designed for the device and sold in the US for use under a certain age.

Engineered for a specific car seat or vehicle? No mention from NHTSA or from the other reports were found..

Not as enthusiastic about forcing installation built in to new cars, although module insert ports for the auto maker's approved device might be acceptable, but resisted without some sort of requirement involved for drivers transporting infants.

Consider that a retrofit trunk release for older cars is an inexpensive purchase, easy to install, and helps protect kids, provided you can get one from some automakers that seem to lack authentic concern, such as what GM demonstrated. Even when a source is found for as little as $10.00 too few install it and kids keep dying.

In 1998, eleven children died in car trunks and NHTSA jumped on the manufacturers to help stop car trunk deaths included accepting technology, an alternative system such as a passive trunk release system which would detect the presence of a human in the trunk and would automatically unlatch the trunk lid. By September 1, 2001 the standard became a requirement. 

Car seats engineered with a built in device designed for that seat and for children under three years or whatever could be available even in older cars.

No child died while left sleeping in a actual school bus these past two decades, but that luxury may be ending as school districts begin transporting children three years of age and under, including transporting infants to and from school on hot school buses.

There exists a real danger to the safety of children three years and under riding on school buses. These can die when not directly attended while riding on a hot school bus during normal operation. To transport this age group on a bus without effective air conditioning involves a real risk to the safety and life of these youngest children. To forget to check the bus can be deadly.

Child check alert devices are now standard on most new school buses, and yet most older school buses do not have the device. 100,000 kids left sleeping on buses these past two decades and most school buses do not have the inexpensive device retrofitted. In recent years, manufactures include the device on new buses as standard equipment. Nevertheless, some buyers opt out to save $30.00 or so since it is not law to have them.


Same as with car seats, and although I dislike government having to regulate business, sometimes it ends up again and again - necessary. Here again it may be necessary to require the device by law, even though manufactures of school buses are including the device as standard equipment.

Any school bus driver, no mater how careful he or she may think, could make one mistake and not realize until it is too late.

I expect the first death from heat exhaustion will involve a child under three years of age sleeping unattended on a hot bus while riding a route to or from school, or when left behind sleeping on a hot bus for as little as fifteen minutes.

Not to transport is the best answer but not the one that makes money.

Parents making the mistake of leaving a child sleeping to its death in a hot car have a great organization that helps the parent through the trauma of such a horrific event. Caring, loving parents share their stories in the media with the help of
kidsandcars.org. These parents plead that other parents understand the danger and take an effective action to help prevent it happening to their child.

Story comments alluding to, "I would never forget my child, like that person did," have no basis in fact.

Scientists seem truthful and empathetic toward these events when exposing the myths concerning the overconfident that claim they will never make this mistake. Not convinced that scientists in this area of scientific study would lie. An award-winning article discusses a potential natural event in meticulous detail.
Fatal Distraction ~ The Washington post.

Excellent school bus drivers/aides and loving parents alike are demonized by a mob mentality even though the science proves the actual cause is not lazy bus drivers or lazy parents that do not care about their kids. The best of both worlds have missed a sleeping child. 

No deaths or serious injuries or abductions involving actual school buses. However, children left in hot cars, vans, SUVs and pickups can die within fifteen minutes. Forty percent of these deaths in the US end with the parent not charged with a crime.

A similar lynch mob mentality toward
parents that make this mistake show up in story comments, even when the child slips away and crawls in to the family’s hot car. As a parent with six children, and a grandparent with eighteen grandchildren can not count the number of times over the years that our kids were suddenly noticed missing. None were harmed.

These story comments are rather mild compared to comments in some stories....

...”Unless [the] housekeeper was left in charge of child watching duties, then it is her responsibility, and not a mistake, a choice was made. One that cost the life of an innocent child....”

 
And this counter comment: "My heart aches for this mother. How awful it must be to live not only with this guilt, but [also] with the impression that people will hate you for your mistake. I really hope she finds peace knowing that she had an independent minded, beautiful baby girl-- and that her story has touched so many."

Some comments are so vicious toward the parent involved that they apparently were removed. These may not drive a school bus but they do drive cars. Far greater in numbers are comments defending parents along these lines...

“I really and truly feel sorry for this lady and her children. She was tending to a newborn, with 3 other children, apparently fairly close in age. If any of you, who are bashing, have had one child, a newborn mainly, you realize how much it takes out of a new mother....”

“Next time you guys all harp on someone for making a tragic mistake (because this will happen again).. Let's try to be a little nicer next time around. Please.”

Attacks escalate when the parent forgets a child in a hot car, empathetic support remains as well and in great abundance.

School bus drivers have no such support, or very little, and no association to assist them when making this procedural error and a child is left sleeping somewhere among some two dozen seats or under a seat.

School bus drivers oftentimes do have available an abundance of a lynch mob mentality to assist in a hanging -- for the same mistake parents can make and when the parent is responsible for just one child to keep track of.

The worst accuser can turn out to be the bus driver’s own employer. The wise discovering or perceiving a hostile workplace either
do not hire on in the first place or quit before their health and reputation are harmed, a major cause of the school bus driver shortage even during the worst of economic times. Some of the best school bus drivers working for a hostile employer stay one day too long.

Worse it becomes, for that bus driver when abandoned by fearful or overconfident fellow drivers. Bus drivers caught up in this politically correct mire are shunned by fellow employees, shamed in the press, falsely judged, and very few tell the press their side of what happened.

Two ignorances don’t make a knowledge. The reality that the employer and employees both may be ignorant of a vulnerability in others, and ignorant of their own vulnerability does not excuse the horrific attacks some make against parents and bus drivers that make this mistake. 

The accused bus drivers that take their employer to task and prevail, the employer failing to use ‘just cause’ (or ‘good cause’) in a termination proceeding, ignoring the science involved, and for wrongfully judging the driver’s character, these wrongfully treated bus drivers rarely tell their story to the press. They do not engage the press and warn other bus drivers of their own vulnerability, leaving the impression that bus drivers forgetting a simple procedure are lazy and are terminated when committing this error.

A decade ago an industry magazine poll revealed that about sixty percent were not fired. In another more recent poll the percentage not terminated dropped to around forty percent. Not studied was how many got their jobs back, nor how many simply moved on to drive school bus elsewhere, or hired back on at another facility owned by the same company. 

What a stark difference compared to how parents work together through an actual tragedy when involving the actual death of a child left sleeping in a parent’s hot car. “Could have...,” concerning a child left sleeping safely in a school bus can come with more severe banishment and punishment than can an actual death in a parent’s own car.

Here is the best I could come up with from the school bus industry....

“Looking for a child on a bus, on the surface, seems to be a very simple task that, underneath the surface, is much more difficult [than] what we realize." ~ Kathleen Furneaux, executive director of the Syracuse-based Pupil Transportation Safety Institute 

A quote from the past becomes riveted in reality when concerning an otherwise excellent school bus driver or aide that make the mistake of missing a sleeping child.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The irony of all this is that employer’s that choose to act out against their own employees reveal themselves, discouraging applicants that know better than to hire on at that facility, as well as discouraging employees observing the abuse of a fellow bus driver to remain with that employer.

The targets of workplace torment aren’t the only casualties of the phenomenon, according to na article in Time Business magazine. "
A new study by Canadian researchers, published in the most recent issue of the journal Human Relations, suggests that co-workers who witness bullying are also traumatized by the phenomenon—and are as likely as victims themselves to look for a new job."

Excellent employees working at the workplace may try to find employment elsewhere before making the same potential mistake. To replace good help can cost two or three times that of keeping a good employee that screwed up one time.

In earlier days, the school district where I worked had no policy concerning this issue, nor was it included in training. I learned about this issue from an industry forum in the early years of the 1990’s.

The issue involving school buses has progressed over the years, from....

  • The parent must insure the child receives enough sleep at night.
  • To: No harm - No Foul.
  • To: Leave a Child - Leave Laidlaw.
  • To: Leave a Child - Go to Jail, along with extensive suspensions, criminal charges, and fines.
Although I prevailed, my twenty some years driving school bus, in that I did not leave a child sleeping, that outcome must be attributed to luck. Back in those days, we had no warning device, no training concerning this issue. Nothing.

I considered myself one of the lesser bus drivers out there in the world of bus driving, easier to distract. After a few years driving school bus and not specifically checking for a sleeping child, knowledge from outside my employer helped me perform certain hedges against leaving a child sleeping on the bus.

  • In the morning, I checked the bus at every school, and upon returning to the bus parking lot.
  • In the afternoon, I checked the bus between schools after completing a route and before starting the next route. At the end of the last run, I pulled over somewhere, checked the bus, and checked again after parking at the bus facility.
  • I made an Avery label to place above the entrance door to help remind me to check the bus.
Free 2safeschools Avery 5160 Sticker Label Template
On occasion, I was not sure that I had checked the bus and probably missed occasionally. I had no child check alert device to help remind me in the event I did miss a check. As luck would have it, no child was left sleeping on the bus.

In the earlier years of my school bus driver career, other drivers complained that I was delaying their departure from the schools. These wanted to leave but had parked too close to my bus blocking the rear exit. I would move forward to allow enough room to go around. Some would move forward again near my rear bumper, sit and stare or tap their horn for me to move. A transportation director at that time accused me of padding my route, an activity some bus drivers may engage in to increase route time for more pay.

The mentality of these seemed to believe that it will never happen at our facility, or, “Never happen to me,” even though between schools, a driver would on occasion walk off the bus and chat with other drivers, and soon after a child would walk off that bus. The routine was to call in as though finding a child sleeping on the bus and request arrangement with the parent to return the child to that child’s bus stop.

The bus video, were it actually checked, would have presented a different story but apparently management did not check the videos, or perhaps it was all kept hush-hush, private, a confidential personnel mater, quietly managed and civil behind closed doors.

Would have to suppose, No harm, no foul," or perhaps, “Don’t ask, don’t tell." Not a great idea in this industry for a bus driver to inform management what management may already know, and played a game. The decision to report something must be weighed against the necessity to do so.
From 2safechools Free online Photo Library
Whistleblowers oftentimes start out believing that the employer, their industry, government, and the pubic will appreciate their courageous stand against whatever. Some do appreciate the efforts of a whistleblower, yet the reality is that these heroes oftentimes are hated in this industry, and there is very little actual protection from a hostile employer.

The
smart whistleblower covers his or her back with meticulous documentation, an excellent personal injury lawyer, industry experts that favor the employee’s position, accepts that he or she will likely be hated by plenty, accused of being a troublemaker, the employee evaluation may take a dive, and eventually forced to quit (‘Constructive Discharge’), or employment terminated. Even some violence is not out of the question.

Do not go to Human Resources with a complaint before getting some good legal council outside the knowledge of the employer. HR works for the employer, not you. Same for your boss’s boss, and same for the company’s attorney. The exception may be when the employee can show the employer that the issue is costing the company too much money. The pitfall is that the employer may already know, and you have just alerted your employer that you may be a potential whistleblower.

About four or five years before I retired, the child left on the bus issue exploded across the country. New management at our facility introduced the child check procedure in driver training, ironically the same procedure other careful drivers and I had already been performing for years.

Suddenly, the check was more important for some, because management said it was.

Leaving children sleeping on the school buses eased somewhat for a time, perhaps because manufactures now offer the child check device as standard equipment on new school buses. However, most recently the anomaly has seemed to increase, but this may be due to more events reported in the press that result in the employee’s termination. 

Driving a school bus or any school vehicle that transports schoolchildren without a child check device installed is likely foolishness or ignorance managing that facility, with bus drivers that believe they will never make that mistake.


Child Check GPS

A practical, simple, inexpensive remedy can accomplish more to help protect both children and bus drivers than can overly redundant training meetings, enforcement laws, criminal charges and punishment can accomplish. More money provides more features.

All may have their part when a child is left sleeping on a school bus, but a simple device likely would have helped prevent these events. Although a lynching is much more fun for some, and seems to attract more viewers, in most cases it is better to find the practical that does the least harm and do it.

A question every parent must ask before allowing his or her child to ride a school bus not equipped with a child check alert device...

Can I trust that the bus driver or any random substitute bus driver will never forget to check the bus?

The next question. Can I trust myself transporting my own child?

The answers to these questions ought to now be obvious.

Please Note: I'd like to invite responses from other parents, grandparents, caregivers, and school bus drivers in the comment area of this blog, or on Facebook. What do you think? Is a baby monitor a must-have, even if you really don't want one? Has a monitor in your home, car, or bus helped intervene when you previously thought the device was not needed, until something happened? Any wish that you had installed the device to help prevent a tragedy? Any other monitorless people out there? Any out there with more than one monitor?

 More References

Where's the Baby? Forgotten in the Hot Car - CBN.com - Psychologists say forgetting a child in a hot car can happen even to responsible parents. One couple is helping educate the public after suffering their own tragedy... The Christian Broadcasting Network CBN.
Baby Found Unconscious in Sweltering Car | NBC 7 San Diego - "She wasn’t sad or crying or anything," one witness said. "It didn’t even bother her. I don’t know how a parent can be like that." ~ Answer: Easy to understand. Shock. What is with the press failing to mention that shock can affect behavior?
KidsAndCars - Recently, three children died from heat stroke in vehicles in one day. Kids and Cars responds, "A brother and sister died in the Nashville, TN area and a 4-year-old boy was left in a daycare van outside of Miami. Our hearts ache for these poor little angels and their families. Much love and prayers for all involved."
Phenomena of children being unintentionally left in vehicles - Video by NHTSA, CA OTS and Mercy San Juan Medical Center on August 31, 2011 with the intent of increasing awareness about the phenomena of children being unintentionally left in vehicles. Please take the time to help people understand this issue by sharing this video. ~ KidsAndCars.org
Are Safety Experts Killing Our Kids? - Only one group has the ability to stop future deaths: The safety experts who continue to insist we put our children in the backseat while ignoring that, for many people, "out of sight, out if mind" is literally true.
Mariee Peabody - Her talk to Safe Kids about the dangers of hot car deaths. "Most of these deaths are parents brains are turned off. Not an abuse issue." Safe Kids, Governors office of highway safety.
School Bus Driver - Terminated school bus driver talks about the mistake of leaving a child sleeping on the school bus, presents warning and remedy to nation's school bus drivers.  [None found.]
A Most Dreadful Memory Lane - Incredible list of contributors helping to keep kids safe. Stories specific to this issue include Christopher Hilton, Bryce Balfour, Kayin, Maya Peabody, Kate Boe, Tyler Costello, Christian LaCombe, Serenity Lyman, Juan Parks, and others.

Protect us Save Us
Protect us Save Us - Safety and Luxury Technology for the Automotive Industry.
Child car safety concerns - Key considerations when buying a family vehicle (Consumer Reports).
A kit makes trunks in older cars safer - Beginning in the 2002 model year, all cars began coming with a glow-in-the-dark release handle inside the trunk that allows people to escape from locked trunks. But many cars manufactured before that year still represent a risk. ~ Consumer Reports.
Note that neither the author or 2safeschools sells the products in this article, we report on options and do not recommend a specific brand but may reference a source that does when a source is available. Images in our online photo library are free to use in school newsletters, memos, in training materials provided free of charge, and in school department owned ads. 

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