Every year you want to do better. Every year you promise yourself that things are going to be different than the last year. Whatever promise (or resolution) you make, make sure child safety is on the list.
Children can be vulnerable to injury or abuse as the result of the choices of the people who are taking care of them. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 9 million children ages 0–19 each year are treated for injuries in emergency departments and more than 225,000 require hospitalization at a cost of around $87 billion in medical and societal costs related to childhood injuries.
In an article on child safety, Irene van der Zande, Founder and Executive of Kidpower said that “danger can come in many forms, including in the form of poor judgment,” and that “children are extremely vulnerable to injury or abuse as a result of the choices of the people who are taking care of them.”
It’s impossible to know where children are at all hours of the day. When children are in day care centers it is the job of adults to ensure that the environment and the people we entrust with their care are emotionally and physically safe.
In day care centers, caregivers can supervise the care of children by taking these steps:
- Researching who will be with your children. Caregivers should make sure that their concerns are respectfully and comprehensively addressed and that the home or room for younger children is childproof.
- Raising concerns right away about any potential problems. Give feedback promptly, firmly, and respectfully. Insist on getting the answers you need.
- Noticing changes in personal, location, policies and activities and activities that might affect your child.
- Being clear about what your expectations are regarding who your child will be with, what your child will be doing, and where your child will be going. Are there any trips planned? How many licensed day care providers will be accompanying your child on the trip?
- Making sure your understand what’s really going on. If an incident occurred, find out what happened, who was involved, and what is the action plan to prevent future incidents.
- Treating issues that relate to the emotional and physical safety for your child as urgent. What is the safety plan of the day care center?
- Expressing appreciation. Teachers and child care staff put in long hours. Don’t forget to express your appreciation for their hard work.
Making decisions to ensure your child’s safety is a perfect resolution. It pays to play it safe.