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Infant Sent Home with Wrong Parent: The Importance of Proper Handoff Procedures


A family in Arkansas had quite the scare when they discovered that their 3-month-old had been sent home from daycare with the wrong person. The parent who mistakenly received the child from the daycare worker did not seem to notice that he had been handed the wrong child.

Meanwhile, this infant’s parents were extremely worried. The 3-month-old’s mother reportedly knew something was wrong when she went to pick her child up and could not spot him at the daycare. The daycare’s employee handed her the wrong child and she immediately knew that it was not hers. The police were then informed that the 3-month-old was sent to the wrong home.

The 3-month-old child was reunited with his parents after an hour. The parents of the 3-month-old still do not know what happened during the hour that their child was separated from them.

Early childhood programs are trusted with the care, custody, and control of the children enrolled in their programs. This is a big responsibility not to be taken lightly. It is important for programs to have a well-formulated and implemented procedure to match children up with the correct parents.

Transfer of care mistakes are, unfortunately, the type of accident that can easily occur when facilities do not have proper handoff procedures being utilized by teachers. Having a well-thought-out procedure implemented is not only imperative to ensure everyday hand-offs go smoothly but can be incredibly important for the reunification of children and parents in the aftermath of an emergency situation.

Although improper handoffs are easy mistakes to make, they are also easy to prevent. There are plenty of steps that programs can take to avoid such a scary incident, which are discussed in depth by Executive Director of The Institute of Childhood Preparedness, Andrew Roszak, in this video.

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