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Keeping children safe from harm is an important job.
Think of all the ways children could potentially be injured: from burns, objects falling, entrapment, falls, weapons, loud noises, tripping, pinches, punctures, crushing injuries, cuts, etc. Your role is to remove as many hazards as possible, exposing them to as few risks as possible.
It is impossible to memorize all of the health standards and regulations aimed at keeping children and staff out of harm’s way. Work with your licensor, public health department, and fire department to stay up-to-date. Once a safe environment is set up, it needs to be maintained. Even with all precautions in place, accidents will happen, so you need to be prepared.
Each staff member must know where the first aid kit is kept. If you are going away from the center on a walk or a field trip, be sure to bring along a first aid kit. At all times, at least one staff member per group of children must have current first aid and age-appropriate CPR training. If first aid is required, stay calm. After treating an injury, remember to enter the necessary information in your accident/incident log and complete an incident report for the child’s parents to sign and keep. Keep a copy of the incident report in the child’s file. If an injury results where professional medical attention is required, you must notify your licensor and provide a written copy of the incident report.
NOTE: There is a difference between an injury and an incident. The general rule is if it is an injury, a third party needs to be involved—that is, a professional. It is considered an incident if it can be handled with minor first aid applied.
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