A Kansas City daycare that serves abused children is apologizing after a 4-year-old boy was left locked inside a hot van for hours Friday.
Children's Place officials admit that it was very fortunate that no serious harm came to the child. The bus driver and monitor who failed to ensure the boy got off the bus are no longer operating a vehicle for Children's Place, which contracts for transportation services.
After failing to ensure the child got off the bus, which had tinted windows, the bus driver parked the vehicle at the depot in Raytown and left the child on board.
When the bus driver returned at 2 p.m., he noticed the boy on board. The preschooler was covered in sweat and his own urine.
The bus driver took the boy to the Children's Place, where the hungry and dehydrated boy asked for chicken. Roxanne Hill, vice president for Children's Place, said the boy was rushed to Children's Mercy Hospital as a precaution. He was treated for dehydration.
Children's Place employees self-reported themselves to state social workers.
Hill emphasized that workers are devastated that this happened and are taking steps to ensure this never happens again, knowing it could have a much worse outcome.
"We are going to make sure that we do everything in our power to see that it doesn't happen again. We are looking at our procedures, and we are talking to our staff," Hill said. "We are going to bring in an outside person to look at it and have a very close look."
The Children's Place board will set up an independent committee to review the situation, Hill said.
"We are doing everything we can to look at this with really harsh eyes and point out everywhere that we failed to make sure we don't fail again," she said.
The Children's Place, which is located at 2 E. 59th St., serves children who have been or are in state custody. Most of the children have survived abuse, neglect or other traumas.
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