Child Safety On The Set
Child Safety On The Set
Gabrielle Schary (Casting Director) gives expert video advice on: How can parents know that their child is safe on a set?; Is there always a medic on set for the child actors? and more...
Is it safe for a child actor to be on a set?
It's safe for a child actor to be on the set if the parent is there and there's a social worker there. Again, common knowledge would dictate what's safe. You know your child. You love your child. If your child is being asked to jump into the ocean and it's really cold and you are not comfortable with it, it is okay to say so. It is okay to ask for a break when you feel like your child needs a break, but the studio teacher or the state worker who has been hired to be the guardian will look over everything. That's their job - they will typically be the watchdog for all the children on set. If a parent has a reservation or sees their child getting tired or that their welfare is being compromised, it is perfectly within their right to go to the studio teacher and say "Hey, my kid needs a break."
What safety measures are in place to keeep children safe on a set?
Basically, a studio teacher, the parent, and the producer all use their best common knowledge and decency to make sure the children aren't exposed to the sun, the cold, the wind, or go without food. It's, you know, professionalism mostly.
How can parents know that their child is safe on a set?
The best way that a parent can make sure that their child is safe on set is to be there, and to be watching from a reasonable distance so that they're not in the way but they still have their eyes on the child.
What happens if a child actor is injured on a set?
If an injury occurs, the production company will immediately call 911 if it's something where they need a paramedic. If it's something where it's a band-aid situation, they'll cut, they'll dress it, and it will be up to the parent and the social worker to determine if the child can continue to work. If it's a severe situation, they'll go to the hospital. It depends on the injury.
Is there always a medic on set for the child actors?
No, there is not always a medic on the set for the child actors. If there is any kind of fire, or danger, or anything involved like that, they will have stunt coordinators. They will have technical advisors there but if you are shooting a Cherrios commercial and there is nothing out of the normal, they are not going to have a medic on set for the child actors. Although I have to change that. There might be somebody just for production reasons not related to the child. Production companies are held to a big stringent list of requirements for obtaining their permit to shoot if it's on a location, or a street, or a home. So there might be a safety professional there, that are there just for the production, not having anything to do with the child actor.
What happens if a child actor becomes ill on a set, and does he or she get paid for that day?
If a child actor becomes ill on set, and they are not longer able to work that day, they need to be dismissed. If it is a union job, yes, they will get paid their session payment. It doesn't happen typically because the kids won't go if they are sick. They will know the day before or they will know the morning of, but it's a case-by-case basis.
What should parents do if a child actor is sick on the day of the shoot?
You call the production company and you say, "My child's running a fever," or, "woke up and is sick to their stomach, and they're unable to work today." And then production has to go to a backup or change the day that your child can work.