ATLANTA — An apparent medical emergency caused a boy to be forgotten on a daycare bus in Atlanta – and his family thinks that the driver of that van should be fired.
The boy’s grandmother told Atlanta Police that her grandson was left in the van, operated by Future Leader Christian Daycare, for over three hours on April 4. She said that her daughter, the boy’s mother, called her crying after finding out he was left in the van from approximately 6:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. that day.
The two women took the child to Hughes Spalding Hospital in Atlanta to get examined by a doctor. The grandmother told police the boy slept the entire time. He didn’t have any apparent injuries.
The owner of Future Leader Christian Daycare disputed the amount of time the child was left in the van and told 11Alive’s Kaitlyn Ross that a “crisis situation” caused the mix-up.
The daycare owner said the van driver suffered a stroke and was rushed off the bus and the boy was left on board. A daycare worker called the boy’s parents to report he wasn’t at daycare and that's when they realized where he was.
Reg Griffin from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) said this story is an important reminder about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars.
"Obviously we take anything like this very seriously and we will do a thorough investigation to substantiate or disprove the allegations," Griffin said. "It is sadly ironic that it happened this week, during National Heatstroke Prevention Day (which is Tuesday). But now we can revisit how serious this is and how seriously we want to take it. This is a preventable tragedy."
The family said they’re horrified and want the van driver fired. DECAL, which regulates daycare incidents, is investigating exactly what happened. The child has since returned to Future Leader Christian Daycare.