When parents enroll their children in your program, they trust that you will keep their children safe. This is why it is vital that your childcare program is a safe place!
Let us take a look at 3 Core Areas of Keeping Children Safe In Your Care:
It is vital that you develop good child supervision skills. In fact, if you care for infants, never leave them alone.
In recent news, a childcare provider left a infant alone in a room and when she returned to check on the infant, she found the baby choking on his formula. Tragically, the baby died. So, be sure to never leave infant/toddlers unattended, this will assure that they have constant direct supervision.
At mealtime, plan to sit at the table with the children, to monitor meal time practices. Also, in the event a child chokes, you are in close proximity of the children. If you work with toddlers and preschoolers, frequently scan your play areas to assure that you always know where the children are. When children know that you are looking at them, they may be reluctant to behave inappropriately.
Do you transport children in a van? If so, be sure to conduct head counts before and after entering the van. This will prevent a child from being left unattended on the van, which could lead to the death of a child.
To be sure that children in your program are having a fun and safe outdoor experience, you must be sure that the playground is free of harmful items by conducting a daily playground safety check.
Moreover, while supervising children on the playground, practice moving around to interact with all of the children and stay in close proximity of the children to prevent injuries. It is also a good idea to create a set of simple safety rules for your playground and discuss the rules with the children before going outdoors.
Do you have bikes or cars on your playground? If so, designate an area for bikes and riding toys only. Also, recommend that parents send their children wearing tennis shoes for outdoor play.
It is vital that you conduct an indoor safety check before children enter your program every day. Here is a list of things to check for daily:
- Covered electrical outlets
- Remove damaged toys and equipment
- Dangerous materials, medication, toxic plants and cleaning supplies must be out of the reach of children
- Toys less than 1 ½ inches in diameter must be inaccessible to toddlers
- Crawl the space to look for dangerous items that infants/toddlers may put in their mouth
- Remove cribs away form blind cords to prevent strangulation
- Install safety gates where needed
More Safety Tips
Are you CPR & First Aid Certified? If not, I inspire you to get CPR & First Aid Certified (through your local Red Cross), to assure that you are trained to handle life threatening situations.
Furthermore, be sure that proper ratios are maintained in your program. When ratios are maintained, children are adequately supervised. * See your local state licensing ratio guidelines
Time to Reflect
What did you learn about keeping children safe in your care? What improvements do you plan to make?
For more supervision tips, check out my Child Supervision eCourse:
How to Effectively Supervise Young Children e-Course
Until next time….Be Inspired!