BETHESDA, Md., July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Popular parent communications app Tadpoles, a product of pioneering early childhood publisher Teaching Strategies, today announced the launch of an alerts feature to notify parents when children are not checked into daycare or school, in an effort to save children's lives by bridging a critical communication gap between families and educators.
Since 1998, an average of 37 U.S. children have died each year as a result of being left in vehicles, at least half of whom were left unknowingly by a parent or guardian. Research suggests that a variety of factors—including changes in daily routine, stress, and sleep deprivation—can contribute to these accidents, leading parents to go into "autopilot," losing awareness of their child in the car or creating a false memory of dropping their child off.
"Human memory is faulty, and even the most loving and attentive parents can unintentionally leave their child in the car," says Dr. David Diamond, a neuroscientist and professor at the University of South Florida who has studied this phenomenon since 2004. "Most people refuse to take any precautionary measures because they believe this could never happen to them. But our flawed memory can put those we love at risk, and direct communication with the childcare provider is a crucial part of prevention."
Tadpoles' new "Unexpected Absence" feature was inspired by the work of mother and advocate Karen Osorio and the Sofia Foundation for Children's Safety, which promotes habit-building to protect children from these preventable accidents.
"These tragedies happen more often than we think and are largely misunderstood by the general public, who believe they could never 'forget' their child in the backseat. It's important that we help parents put multiple checks in place to protect their children," said Karen Osorio, who founded the Sofia Foundation after losing her own child to vehicular heatstroke in 2017. "We are very grateful that Teaching Strategies is taking a leadership role in supporting parents to prevent these tragedies."
Tadpoles' digital communications tools strengthen the bridge between school and home by giving families ongoing and frequent insight into their child's daily activities and experiences. Through their secure mobile software, Tadpoles helps educators to quickly and easily capture, organize, and share photos, videos, and daily reports to engage parents in their child's learning process and day-to-day activities. The new alerts feature will be available for free to all existing Tadpoles users.
"Regular communication between families and caregivers is an essential part of providing quality care and improving developmental outcomes for young children, and Tadpoles has made it possible for us to streamline and strengthen that communication," said Jennifer Wolff, Director of the Peter Pan Day School in Naperville, Illinois. "The 'Unexpected Absence' feature provides an additional, simple way for us to partner with families to ensure the health and safety of the children we serve."
By opting into the new "Unexpected Absence" notifications via their mobile app, families can choose the time at which they would like to be notified if their child isn't checked into daycare or school. This provides an additional safety measure to ensure children are accounted for every day.
"Teachers and caregivers support families in caring for and educating their children, and we can support family members in keeping their children safe," said Kai-leé Berke, CEO of Teaching Strategies. "This is about using technology to not only strengthen the critical communication between caregivers and families, but to ensure the health and wellbeing of the children we serve and love."
About Teaching Strategies: With ground-breaking solutions and a strong belief that a child's first 8 years form a critical foundation for school success, Teaching Strategies has been an advocate for the early education community for over 25 years. Today, Teaching Strategies provides curriculum, assessment, professional development, and family connection resources to programs across the country. Its products, including Tadpoles, the award-winning Creative Curriculum® for Preschool, and widely-adopted assessment solutions like GOLD® reach over 2 million children each year. To learn why thousands of early childhood programs and many states choose to partner with Teaching Strategies to help ensure children's success in school and in life, visitwww.teachingstrategies.com and follow us on Twitter @TeachStrategies.
About the Sofia Foundation for Children's Safety: The mission of the Foundation is to protect the lives and wellbeing of children by increasing awareness of everyday dangers, educating caregivers, and instilling lasting safety and prevention habits. The organization was started in honor of Sofia Victoria and all of the children that have died tragically in hot car deaths. To learn more, please visit https://www.bagintheback.org/ and follow us on Facebook @thesofiafoundation.