Look carefully at this photograph of a typical childminding scene.
There are six potential hazards to young children in this photo. Can you spot them, and do you know why they are dangerous?
Part of the mission of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is to stop children being accidentally killed or injured in the home. Their website has lots of resources aimed at childcare providers as well as parents, and there is also a free newsletter that is worth signing up for.
So, how many did you spot? The six hazards are circled here:
- Nappy sacks – children, especially young babies can suffocate on nappy sacks. It is tempting to let the children play with them in your baby dolls role play, but safer not to just in case.
- Balloons – popped latex balloons are a leading cause of suffocation deaths in young children. Balloons are not dangerous to children when they are blown up, but please remove them when they burst.
- Blind cords – children can strangle themselves on looped blind cords like these. You should tie them up.
- Cleaning products – this is just an example of how easy it is to overlook things and why it is important to risk assess your setting continuously. It is so easy to get distracted half way through a task like cleaning and accidentally leave cleaning products within reach of children.
- Trip hazards – watch out for trailing cables. Fasten them to the wall or tape them to the floor.
- Grapes sliced the wrong way – If you are going to cut grapes up for children because you are wary of them being choke hazards then make sure you slice them lengthways. Sliced crossways they are still exactly the same diameter as they are when whole (and as a child’s windpipe).
How many did you get right?
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About Kay Woods and Kids To Go
Kay Woods has been writing and selling childminding resources through her company Kids To Go for the last six years. Her products include the Ultimate Childminding Checklist, the Learning Journey Plus for planning, observation and assessment and best practice resources promoting diversity and childminding in the great outdoors (Forest Childcare).
Lots of places offer help to childminders. I provide solutions.