Children in Labs

In the interests of health and safety, it is the policy of the VLSB to restrict the presence of children in laboratories and other areas that present physical, chemical, biological or other potential health hazards.

In general, children should be prohibited from any areas that may expose them to a potentially hazardous condition including chemical hazards. It is especially important that children avoid hazardous chemical exposures because of their smaller body mass, higher metabolisms, developing immune and neurosystems and a general lack of hazard recognition ability.

Babies and infants are prohibited from labs and research/teaching and support spaces where any hazardous materials are stored or actively used.

Children are prohibited from areas that store or use research and teaching animals, extremely hazardous chemicals, radioisotopes, listed carcinogens or biohazardous agents.

For children to be present in laboratories or other hazardous areas, the following criteria must be met:

  • Children must be of an age and size where they can knowingly and safely comply with all relevant campus, building and OSHA safety requirements (e.g. wearing safety glasses, understanding electrical/ mechanical hazards etc.);
  • Children must be accompanied in the laboratory at all times by a parent, guardian or with an adult that has the expressed permission of the parent or guardian;
  • The knowledge and approval of the Principal Investigator, Laboratory Manager or Responsible Person must be obtained.
  • Children cannot be placed in a situation where they may receive an accidental exposure or where they will endanger themselves or others by tampering with apparatus, machinery and equipment, or where they may be exposed to other potentially hazardous conditions that can be avoided by their exclusion.