The best thing to avoid a child becoming hurt in a day center environment is careful planning. There are so many things that seem commonplace in the home and are not posing such a risk because of the adult to child ratio, but even within any child care environment where there are many children to be looked after provisions can be put into place to avoid any potential day care dangers.
One dangerous hazard that has been pointed out more in the past few years since accidental deaths have occurred are those surrounding the use of blinds. The cords on them can easily become wrapped around the throat area causing strangulation which is one reason for any furniture; including cots should be placed in a space where nothing surrounding that is dangerous can be touched.
Lighter furniture may seem a great option as it can be moved around easily and to be stored when not in use. The problem can be that little ones are not as stable on their feet as an older child or adult. This could mean that they try to break their fall by grabbing a nearby light chair or similar item and not only hurt themselves but other children playing nearby.
It is surprising how many toys; even those that say they are safe for use from a young age could still pose a high risk. Buttons used to make eyes on homemade teddies or even on a doll that is used to aid children in practicing to fasten buttons and do up zips could cause choking should a button become loose or trapped skin in the zip part. Such toys should only be used under adult supervision where there can be an adult present for each child while the toy is being played with. It should be checked for any damage and signs of wear and tear and disposed of at the first sight.
Heavier toys such as wooden building blocks or trains are sturdy but this also means they can be used to hit other children with. While they are so young children will tend to become territorial over certain items and go through the ‘mine’ stage. Even accidentally the grip will not be as strong as adults so items may not be as secure as they may first seem.
Check also openings on doll houses, cars and similar toys, especially those that can be slammed shut with force to avoid pinching of skin or breaks to small fingers. Remember that they are exploring a new world and everything to them is to be played with as they learn.
To avoid germs and for health and safety reasons cleanliness is important, however not keeping anything that is used for medicinal or cleaning purpose locked away safely can and has led to irreversible damage to health and even death. Something as simple as the soap used in the toilet room needs to be monitored by a member of staff when in use and put away when it is not.
Spillages will occur no matter how careful you are, but the main thing is to get them cleared up quickly and if necessary make sure another room is readily available while the main one is drying off. The sense of danger in youngsters is not there, it is something they learn over time.
Look at the furniture around the building and make sure all tables and chairs supplied have legs at every corner. This gives them stability just in case a child decides to climb up onto them. If possible avoid having corners at all or go for less pointy ones, something that is lower than the average adults knee could be the height of a child’s eye, mouth nose or even tummy.
Medical centers are a great source of information, most will be more than happy to oblige if you ask for details of injuries in children of certain ages and how they were caused. It is never a happy time when a child comes to harm but from one experience, if further injuries of the same nature are avoided then all has not been in vain. They cannot provide you with personal details but the information alone of recent accidents can show a toy or piece of equipment that seemed like a good idea at the time, to be one that is best avoided. Remember that any outdoor equipment should also be included when taking safety into account and that everything out and indoors is age appropriate for the children who will be using it.