It is vital for children to be kept safe in the early years setting, it is possible for them for to be at risk for example if there was not enough staff in their setting, if the staff were not police checked or the environment / equipment is not safe. As a Childcare provider you would need to carry out risk assessments to identify what risks there are to children and what measures can be put in place to ensure that the risk is reduced. The registered person has a responsibility to ensure that the policies are in place, that staff and parents adhere to them and have the opportunity to contribute to them.
As mentioned previously, it is getting the basics right in the first place that is important. It gives parents a varied choice of early years provision, confident in the knowledge that their child will be looked after properly and that those providing care are taking a proactive approach to creating a safe environment One things that can cause danger for a child are Windows – if they are low or a child can climb to reach them they need to be closed or opened with a window spacer to prevent the child climbing / falling out, you also need to keep any cords from windows and blind’s ties away so the child can not get caught up in it.
You must make sure that all dangerous objects or substances are put away out of a child’s reach. Any medicine needs to be locked away so children cannot harm themselves. If there are any stairs or a room that could be dangerous for a small child i. e. a kitchen you need to put a stair gate in the doorway or the door needs to remain shut so that the child cannot be put in danger. Plug sockets need to be covered with plastic caps to prevent the child sticking toys in the electric socket.
If a child has lots of toys out you need to encourage them to put some toys away before they get more out as this can cause accidents for people if they fall or trip over toys or fall on. It’s important to allow a baby or child to have plenty of freedom to play but babies and children like to play with things, which are often ‘out of bounds’. Before you can allow a child to play you need to ensure that the area is safe for them to do so and you are aware of where the emergency exits are.
Check around for any unsuitable items that can harm a child such as sharp objects, pens & pencils, plastic bags or toys that contain small parts and can be swallowed. Children need to be allowed to explore and try new things and sometimes adults need to stand back and watch from a distance. An example of this is a climbing frame where a child is in danger of falling, a child can climb up and an adult can guide them back down safely instead of carrying them down. This will help increase a child’s confidence. Children can never be 100% safe but they are curious and need to be allowed to discover new things.
When you are in the room with a child you need to keep your attention on what children are doing, If you need to leave the child or become distracted you must put any dangerous item out of reach such as cleaning products or if in a foundation class where there are more than one child ensure that there are other suitable adults there. When you put items out of a child’s reach you need to ensure that there are no leads hanging down that a child could pull down and injure them self if its a heavy object or put them in their mouth and get a shock.
Children need to be taught about danger and stranger danger from an early age. Not all people unknown to them are necessarily dangerous – they need to understand the difference between “good” and “bad” strangers, and explained in terms a child can understand. Examples of “good” strangers may include police officers, security guards, teachers, store clerks, etc. These are all examples of people to turn to if when your child needs help. Other safety issues children need to be taught from a early age are: Internet Safety – Unfortunately, the Internet can be a very dangerous place.
It’s prime hunting ground for hackers looking to entertain themselves on your system, identity thieves, and child predators. Computer skills are a good skill for children to learn from a early age and will come in handy throughout their educational and future professional careers. A child needs to know they should never give out identifying information, such as name, address, phone number, school, etc over the internet. Older children will be interested in chat rooms, message board, and networking/personal blogging sites (i. . myspace, bebo, and social networking sties, etc).
If you allow your children to utilize these sites, they should keep their profiles “private,” only approve “friends” and/or chat with people they know in the real world, and be extremely careful with the kind of information they post. Safety outdoors: Children need to be aware of dangers when out and about as well as stranger danger there other things that can harm children: Ponds / lakes – Children need to be kept back from them as they can fall in and drown.
Young children have no concept of the danger that surrounds a pond as to how deep it is etc so they need to be supervised at all times and if possible stand behind a fenced part to feed the ducks etc.. People walking Dogs, Children need to learn that not all dogs are friendly so they need to be kept away from any animals that are not known to them. When out in Public young children need to be kept close to an adult at all times as children can wander off and become easily distracted and may become lost from the group or adults.
Children also need to be taught about the danger of roads, Look, listen and look again before we cross roads, they need to know where is safe to cross roads at a crossing or with a lolly pop person etc. In a school class there is more than one child and you need suitable adults to work with the children at foundation stage with relevant qualifications. All staff that work with children. All settings where children are cared for need to have a fire evacuation procedures where adults will know how to get out a building if a fire occurs and be able to keep children safe.
This will need to be clearly displayed in the premises where all adults can see where the meeting place is and where the emergency exits are etc. There may be some challenges within individual settings that will shape the environment and have an impact upon how it is managed. For example, a nursery or pre-school may have limited access to outdoor areas, or have an area that is not aesthetically pleasing. They might have to „make do with an area that is used by others and requires careful checking each day, or they may have to take children across a busy road to reach a suitable play area.
If the setting has a positive ethos towards making the environment work for them, they will overcome such challenges using good risk assessment to create an environment that is both stimulating and safe. A pre-school operating in a village hall or community building faces its own set of challenges. It is harder to value the environment you are working in when everything has to be packed away at the end of the day and the building you are in is not yours to alter.
If practitioners working in this environment address the potential risks, they can then focus on the opportunities that are available to them. For example, a stage (if present) can become the deck of a ship, top of a mountain or just somewhere to put on a play. Even an environment that is not ideal has the potential to become a „safe environment when providers have fulfilled their statutory obligations and have a philosophy of innovation towards the challenges presented.
Parents perceptions of a safe environment for their children have an impact upon their choice of childcare. A nursery on a farm, where there is a definite outdoors philosophy and lots of opportunity to get mucky, may not appeal to some parents. A childminder who lived in an older property with stone floors might cause a parent to worry about their toddler falling over and hurting themselves. In both examples it is by meeting statutory requirements and sharing policies and procedures that concerns are alleviated.
January 9, 2018
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