National Safety Month
Regardless of where you are, the potential for injury and illness are always there. Being mindful of safety is the key to preventing the most common causes of injuries.
With June being National Safety Month, it is the perfect time to raise awareness of common hazards that could exist in a childcare center and to do what we can to improve upon the safety practices in use at childcare facilities.
To mark this year’s National Safety Month, we are going to look at some safety tips for childcare facilities.
A childcare facility should be designed with the safety of children in mind. It needs to be kept clean and it should be free of hazards that could lead to trips, slips and falls. Sharp objects should be kept in a place that is not accessible to young children and electrical outlets should be covered when they are not in use. If there are any stairs, there should be barriers that prevent young children from accessing the stairs on their own, and the staff needs to be mindful of objects that could pose a choking hazard to the children.
Poison prevention is one of the most important points when it comes to running a safe childcare center. All potential poisons should be identified and kept in a place that is inaccessible to the children. Beyond that, the number for poison control should be posted near every phone, and every staff member should be trained on what to do in the event of a poisoning. If any of the children have medications, the childcare facility should have a set of protocols for accepting medications from parents and administering them to the child that needs the medication. Furthermore, all medications should be kept in a safe place where they cannot be accessed by the children.
Illness and Infection
Illness and infection can spread quickly in a childcare setting. The most important factor in preventing illnesses is to have a hand washing policy in place. This should include times when hand washing is mandatory and every child should be taught how to wash his or her hands properly. The staff should also make efforts to maintain a clean environment for the children, and staff should be mindful of the illness policy for what to do when a child displays signs of an illness that could easily spread to other children.
Most childcare centers serve meals or snacks to the children in their care. If you are serving food of any kind, there will need to be safety protocols surrounding preparation, serving and cleaning up afterward. Hands should be washed before and after preparation. The children should also wash their hands before and after eating. Furthermore, staff members need to be aware of any food allergies that any of the children may have.
Whether it is indoors or outdoors, every play area should be designed with safety in mind. Staff members and administrators should be sure that all toys and playground equipment are safe for the age group of the children. There should also be safety rules for the play areas and they should be taught and reviewed with the children regularly.
With June being National Safety Month, it is a good time for parents, teachers and childcare providers to brush up on the basics of maintaining a safe environment for children. Along with that, it is also a good time to teach children about protecting their own safety and the things they can do to prevent injury and illness.