Keeping your children healthy is one thing that concerns every parent. This can be done by practising good health habits such as promoting a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and exercise, and by having a regular medical check-up.
But putting the child out of harm’s way is another thing. Harm is in the form of unexpected and unpleasant incidents which result in the discomfort or terrible injury of a child. Injuries such as cuts, burns, bumps, broken bones, dangerous bites, falls, choking and the worst is the loss of life; all of these result from situations which could have been prevented if safety measures were observed at all times by both the adults and the children. When attempting to find a childcare centre in your area it is important to keep these things in mind to ensure the environment your children are playing in is safe and beneficial to their growth.
The wellbeing of children can be ensured by applying safety rules at home, school, amusement parks and other recreational places where the kids are present.
Safety considerations inside the home
- Find a safe space for your children to play. Children, by nature, are playful. They are always running, jumping, and playing where they feel very active. Find a space at home where they can run around. Playing and running in places where there are sharp objects is dangerous. Sharp edges from broken objects will cause cuts and being hit by hard objects will cause swelling of the body parts. Running on wet and slippery floors, sliding on stairways or just running up and down the stairs, may cause falls so it is best to keep the house clean and tidy, making sure that spilled liquids on the floor are wiped and broken things are fixed immediately.
- Isolate areas from your children. Do not allow the children to sit or stand in precarious things and areas such as windows, chairs, stairs, ladders, branches of trees in the yard, and rooftop of garage or barns. These may cause bad falls or slipping that may cause broken bones or bumps on the head or worse, concussions.
- Cover electrical outlets when not in use. If possible, open outlets should be out of the children’s reach as they may play with the outlets with a piece of wire or a spoon which could cause fatal injury. Be sure to keep all electric wires away from children, and appliances should not be left turned on when not in use or without an adult around as this may result in a tragedy such as your children inserting their fingers through the rotating blades of a fan. A child safety Power Outlet Plug Protector can be used to ensure your children are not placing objects into the outlets without your knowledge.
- Placing medicine in a out of reach cabinet – Medicine should be kept out of reach of children and laundry detergents, disinfectants and other chemicals should be placed in areas which are not supposed to be accessed by kids. Each set of cabinets should be labeled properly for the safety not only of kids but also for every member of the family to avoid poisoning.
- Putting toys away – Teach the children to keep their toys in a designated place or container after playing with them. Toys should not be left around after use as these may cause slipping or injuries when stepped on by accident. The values of being organized are also taught at Giggles ELC, a fun kindergarten in Bexley. We ensure our play-spaces are safe for children by encouraging them to clean up their toys after use, helping them bring these helpful values back to their home.
- Supervision – There should always be an adult around with the kids, whether they are playing, skipping or just watching TV. Kids are very much dependent to adults and when bad incidents happen, it is to his advantage if parents or a grown-up person is around.
- Watch your children when they are eating – A mealtime is a harmless activity but eating could cause choking when the activity is not supervised very well by an adult. Choking is dangerous as it stops the air intake of the person involved. The use of chest thrusts would prove extremely helpful at a time like this and is recommended and the adults who watch on the kids should be trained to do this. Some food poisoning may also victimize kids so foods offered should be properly cooked and checked.
- Check the products you are purchasing for your children for Asbestos and other dangerous materials. Parents should ‘check the label’ and do in-depth research about a toy or a product. Be wary of the products that contain asbestos. There have been some products like children’s makeup kits that contain asbestos, which have been pulled out from the market. Exposure to asbestos during childhood may increase their risk of contracting respiratory diseases later in life. Asbestos has also been linked to Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. Read more about Asbestos in Australia.
Rules Outside the Home
Accidents happen outside the home so kids should also be taught about the following safety rules.
- Always teach the kids to ‘Stop, Look and Listen’. Look to their left and right before crossing the street. Use the pedestrian crossings to ensure safety. Keep to the correct side of the road and make sure to cross the street with an adult. Depending on their age, kids should know about the traffic signs.
- Children should know how to behave when inside a vehicle. Wearing a seatbelt is very important, so it should be used by all passengers. Kids should not do other things except to remain seated as vehicles are not for play but for transportation. When they realize the importance of this, they may sit and behave properly while on a school bus trip to their preschool. Behaving well will allow the one who drives to focus on the road while also keeping the kids safe from harm.
- Keep children safe around animals. Kids should stay away from animals especially those that look sick and inform them not to provoke animals and to respect them as animals bite when they feel threatened. On a trip to the zoo or even simple when encountering some harmless, domestic animals, the kids should always be accompanied by adults.
- Teach them about stranger danger. For their own safety, kids should not talk to strangers. Kidnapping is the worst thing that may happen when one puts his complete trust to a stranger who has his own motives when trying to befriend a child. Keep your children safe from the dangers of social media by controlling and limiting their use of it.
- Open communication with parents A stranger is not a family acquaintance or a known member of the community. Kids should also be reminded to maintain an open communication with the parents, so they could honestly tell mum and dad if a grown-up — whether a stranger or someone who the family or community knows — have done something inappropriately or uncomfortable to them. Always remind your kids about this and be involved in their life, so as to avoid violence and sexual abuse.
- Responding to bullies. Kids should be taught to stay away from bullies. A bully should be reported to the parents, guardians or caregivers, and most of all the teacher and proper authorities should address the issue at the school.
Accidents do happen and parents can only hope and wish for their kids’ safety, especially at times when they are not around. But teaching and training the children to be safety-conscious will help a lot in keeping them protected at all times. As mentioned earlier still, it would be helpful if some adults are around to check on them to make sure that aid is given immediately to reduce the risk and avoid further damage; and, for when they are put in danger, they will always look for someone to turn to.
It is best to educate them about being aware of the dangers around them and to know the hazards that are present in their environment. Becoming involved and informed about your kids’ lives will encourage open communication. Let them realize the value of keeping themselves safe, in an age-appropriate manner.
Enjoyed the read? Our sister childcare centre in Miranda has prepared an article about how play is important for learning. Feel free to have a read 🙂
Images courtesy of: sathyatripodi / 6 images via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0. mohamed_hassan / 2000 images via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0.