Obviously the safety of the children in your care is your top priority. Parents, nannies, babysitters, and indeed anyone who has been entrusted with a child’s welfare should be keenly aware of the potential dangers in the environment. Here are some guidelines to help you ensure that your home or child care facility, is safe and child friendly.
Different studies from different countries consistently show that the kitchen is the number one area where children can be injured. It is wise when preparing meals or cleaning up after a meal to keep children out of the kitchen.
Although a kitchen seems to be a magnet for children, it is actually fairly easy to train even toddlers that they cannot go into the kitchen when food is being prepared. If you place this rule in effect early, your children will learn that this area is not for play. To prevent injury, follow these steps:
- Keep hot foods and drinks away from the edge of counters.
- Do not allow the handles of saucepans and frying pans to hang over the edge of the stove or counter where children can grasp them. Rotate the handles inwards away from the edge.
- Keep children away from the stove
- Ensure that all food within children’s reach is not too hot
- If you need to do the ironing while watching the children, never leave the iron unattended and ask the children not to approach you or come close.
- In the case of a burn, cool the burn with cool water. Do not use ice and never use butter or Vaseline. Call 955 or rush the child to a nearby clinic for professional evaluation of the burnt child.
- Review the information presented in the Emergency Section of this website and rehearse in your mind how you would manage an emergency situation.
- Here is a video on first aid treatment of burns
During childcare operations, frequent falls among children from the age of 14 and under occur almost every day. These falls may occur when children climb chairs and tables, running around the room too fast, riding bikes, or just playing on playground equipment. Most playground injuries occur with children under the age of five when they are playing on equipment designed for older children.
To prevent these types of injuries, follow these steps:
- Ensure that you are monitoring the children's play period at all times.
- Make sure that the children in your care only use playground equipment which is suitable for their age.
- Keep furniture away from windows. This might encourage children to climb.
- Do not allow children to run on hardwood floors, tiled floors or other slippery surfaces.
In a childcare home, medicines, household products, and even plants can lead to children being poisoned. You can watch a video on how to respond to a case of child poisoning here
To prevent these instances, follow the rules below:
- Use child-resistant covers on all food and cleaning products.
- Keep medicines in a locked cabinet or store on a higher shelf out of the reach of children.
- After using medicines and cleaning products, return them to their storage place immediately.
- Never take medicine in front of a child. This can give the child an impression that they can do this too.
- Never tell the child that taking medicine is like candy.
Household Cleaning Products
- Use only products with child resistant caps.
- Keep cleaning products in a locked cabinet or store on a higher shelf out of the reach of children.
- Never put household products into food or beverage containers.
- Find out the names of all plants which children may come into contact with and which ones are poisonous. Obviously poisonous plants should not be kept indoors.
- Teach children not to put plant parts into their mouths.
A running child may trip over the edges of a rug, or have it skid from under him.
Shocking accidents can happen if a child tries to climb up a bookcase that is not secured to the wall and it topples on top of him. Some other articles of furniture that children will find attractive for climbing can also become unstable, so secure these structures to the wall with a child safety strap.
This article was kindly submitted by Camille, a childcare professional from the Philippines and who is working here in Singapore.