November is child safety protection month, but toddler safety and preschool safety are topics that deserve attention year round. Many educators and parents wonder how they can create safe, healthy environments in their classroom and at home to promote children’s safety. The Gryphon House book Preschool Health and Safety Matters by Jody Martin provides simple solutions for parents and teachers wishing to encourage health and wellbeing while supporting child safety practices.
It’s important to remember that toddlers and preschoolers are meant to explore, learn, and have fun. However, this stage of exploration also means bumps, bruises, scrapes, and scratches - it’s part of the deal. One thing parents and educators do not want though, is for these normal bumps and bruises to turn into serious injuries or illnesses.
Preschool Health and Safety Matters is a manual full of information educators can use to ensure that children are safe in their care, involve families at home, and learn more about topics such as nutrition and injury prevention.
Below are a just few tips for toddler safety you can use at home or in your classroom today:
Educators should create procedures regarding possible situations that may arise. Having clear procedures in place for potential emergencies lessens the chance of confusion and misunderstanding in the event of an emergency. Sharing procedures with parents in staff and family handbooks also help parents rest easy knowing there’s a plan for everything!
Policies go hand in hand with procedures. Policies include everything from the philosophy of the childcare center, goals, and operating rules and regulations set up by various boards such as the health department. Clearly stated policies allow for the easy identification of the levels of authority involved in a situation, as well as the specific actions that need to be taken to handle situations.
People don’t often think of healthy habits as a part of safety. However, basic hygiene for children is a critical part of childcare. Keep your students healthy in school and at home by implementing practices as simple as teaching proper hand washing techniques and as structured as keeping a “health and safety checklist.” Personal health is important, and a large part of child safety.