How to Reduce Hazards in Daycare Centers

by Carla on December 21, 2009

One duty of a daycare provider is to keep children safe and minimize their risk of health and safety hazards.

There are five important potential safety hazards for children in daycare and preschool. These hazards include:

Infections
Injuries
Hygiene concerns
Physical abuse and
Emotional/psychological abuse.

To minimize the risk of hazards in the daycare setting, Dr. Charles Shubin, Director of Pediatrics for Mercy FamilyCare, a division of Family Health Centers of Baltimore, suggests the following:

  • Help protect children and employees by taking precautions to improve the health and hygiene of your daycare business. This starts with a clean environment. This includes adequate facilities for hand washing and handling contaminated materials like diapers. Actual hand washing has to happen! Make sure that all regulatory requirements are met. Another key step in maintain good health and hygiene in your daycare business is by thoroughly clean the children’s toys. At the end of the day, all toys should be cleaned with hot water or disinfectant.  If a small child puts a toy in his or her mouth, it should be washed immediately afterward.
  • Proper furniture, equipment and safety measures. This includes “child-proofing” the daycare with things like child proof latches and outlet covers.  An emergency and evacuation plan should be in place. Most importantly, there must be adequate, developmentally appropriate supervision. Again, all regulatory requirements must be met.
  • Adequate and appropriate supplies, clothing, and facilities for cleaning children and supplies along with correct usage of the same. At the end of the day, all toys should be cleaned with hot water or disinfectant.  If a small child puts a toy in his or her mouth, it should be washed immediately afterward.
  • If your daycare business cares for infants, it is imperative that soiled diapers are handled properly and that there is thorough cleansing of the diaper changing area. It is also important that child care providers use non-porous disposable gloves while diapering a child and in especially in any situation where there might be contact with blood, bodily fluids, or blood or fluid-contaminated bodies, item, or substances.
  • It is critical to perform a background check for all staff in child care centers. There must be policies concerning discipline approaches. Absolutely NO corporal punishment is allowed. All staff members should be trained in CPR and First Aid and these certifications must be updated regularly. Staff members should also know how to prevent injury and illness and identify abuse. Parents must be allowed unannounced “drop-in” visits by parents to see how the children are treated.

About Carla

Carla Snuggs has written 88 post in this blog.

Carla is a freelance writer from Southern California. She has a B.A. in early childhood education and a Master of Library and Information Science degree specializing in public librarianship and youth services.

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