Georgia Representative Sandra Scott wrote the Jazmin Green Act following the death of two-year old Jazmin Green of Jonesboro, Georgia, in June of 2011. Daycare providers at Marlo’s Magnificent Early Learning Center left Jazmin in a daycare van for approximately two hours after returning from a field trip. The temperature was in the low-to-mid 90s that afternoon. By the time daycare providers noticed her absence and looked in the daycare van, Jazmin was no longer breathing. The Jazmin Green Act is a proposed bill pushing for daycare centers to install child safety alarms in any vehicle used to transport children from infancy to six years old.
The child safety alarms require the driver to walk to the back of the vehicle to deactivate the alarm. Doing so, the driver checks for every child aboard the daycare vehicle.
In a bordering state, Florida, Palm Beach County was the first to rule that daycare providers install child safety alarms for daycare transportation in August 2011. The alarms sound when the driver turns the vehicle’s ignition off. The child safety alarms serve as an inescapable reminder to do a head count for all the children. The mandate followed a similar incident where two-year old Haile Brockington died after she was left in a daycare van for hours.
If the Jazmin Green Act passes, Georgia will become the fourth state to require child safety alarms for daycare transportation. Tennessee, Arkansas and Wisconsin are the predecessors. The bill is expected to go before the Georgia House of Representatives next week.
While several daycare center owners are voicing their opposition to the cost of installing alarms in each daycare vehicle, many parents support the bill. For more information on the possible dangers involving children and motor vehicles, parents and daycare providers can look to Kids and Cars, a group devoted to documenting and studying these dangers. KidsandCars.org is their public safety awareness website.