Child Care Safety
As any parent knows, keeping an eye on a child to prevent injuries is extremely important. Many parents will do everything in their power to research all possible opportunities for injuries and to make their house as safe as possible. While parents have a mindful eye towards this, those same parents are not always the same people watching the child.
Anytime that child care is involved, the risk for injuries increases because of the children being in an unfamiliar environment or new people keeping an eye on them.
This makes it all the more important for parents to be aware of the risks associated with child care safety. Child care safety in general focuses on protecting minors and young children from diseases and hazards in child care settings such as preschools, daycare centers, child care homes and after school or before school programs.
Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that a majority of children throughout the country are enrolled in child care programs that occur outside of the home. With this presents a range of concerning issues that parents should be aware of when researching an appropriate child care center or ensuring that the child has the necessary understanding or safety gear to prevent injuries.Common Causes of Child Care Safety Incidents
Some of the factors that contribute to the injuries occurring in child care settings include:
- The physical environment
- Other children
- Sleds and bicycles
Falls from playground structures are a leading cause of injuries in child care situations. These falls can also tend to be the most severe and can sometimes result in concussions and fractures. The majority of injuries that happen at child care centers, however, are minor. Inspections of child care settings and regulations vary throughout the country.
Oversight of the out of home child care situation lies with each individual state that is responsible for developing regulations and evaluating child care locations. While there are national guidelines in place to try to prevent injuries in child care situations, your individual state will have rules and regulations associated with how these child care centers must prevent injuries. Injuries sadly are the leading cause of disability and death for young children. Younger children face higher risks of injuries in general and certain injuries are more likely at different ages. Being introduced to an unfamiliar environment and other children and different caretakers than they are used to can present more risks.
Preschoolers are most likely to sustain injuries due to drowning, while toddlers are more likely to be poisoned. School age children, however, face a high risk of pedestrian accidents. This is why it is important for parents to be aware of the various risks facing their children at different milestones. Children must have the opportunity to explore their indoor environment safely and to enhance connections in their developing brains.
The classroom or any childcare location must be a space where the children can explore safely. This is even true for infants who must have a safe space to crawl or roll. Instead of confining an infant to a play pen, crib, or high chair all day, having a safe play place encourages their growing brains to develop. Some of the questions that should be considered in child care safety concerns include:
- Is there someone in place to supervise the children's play carefully?
- Are any tall pieces of furniture or shelves anchored to the wall to prevent tipping?
- Have all toys been carefully inspected to ensure there are no rough edges or broken and lose pieces?
- Are all medications, poisons and cleaning products in a locked cabinet or closet?
- Are any breakable or sharp items out of the children's reach?
- Are there gates, doors or other barriers that can stop children from falling down the stairs?
Keeping a mindful eye towards these child care safety issues can help to prevent divesting injuries. If your child has already suffered serious injuries, you may have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim with the help of a NY lawyer.