Six Steps to Preventing Injuries
Constant supervision of children engaged in age-appropriate activities is the best foundation for injury prevention. The six steps listed below will help you make sure that children are as safe as possible.
- Conduct regular safety checks. Each room and the outdoor play area should be checked at least once a month.
- Actively look for hazards. Get down on your hands and knees and look at the world through the eyes of a child. Notice how many new places and objects there are to play with and explore. Make a note of dangers you didn’t notice before and come up with a plan for fixing them.
- If you find a problem, fix it immediately. If you can’t fix it, make a note of it, put the hazard off-limits with easy-to-see barriers, and follow up with plans to get it fixed. Encourage all staff to participate in conducting the checks and planning ways to deal with hazards.
- Take special safety precautions when caring for infants and toddlers.
- Provide children with the skills to prevent injuries and to help care for themselves and others in case of an emergency.
- Try to state safety rules as “do’s” instead of “do nots”. It’s human nature to be more likely to follow rules if they’re stated in a positive way.