By David Peel
We all know that kids will be kids, but most serious injuries at daycares are preventable, if a few simple steps are taken.
1. Adult Supervision. This is required. It may be cute that the 6 year old is playing with the toddler, but that does not qualify as proper supervision. Each baby usually takes one adult’s full attention at times, and that is usually when toddlers get into problems and get hurt.
2. Dangerous Places. Older stairway railings have openings that could entrap a child’s head, and unguarded stairs invite falls. Any openings to the outside should be controlled, and at least one locked fence should prevent access to the street. Electrical outlets must be secured and blocked. Pools should be securely fenced off.
3. Hazardous Items. At knee level, check for sharp corners, folding furniture that can pinch fingers, splinters, and loose parts that can be swallowed. Then, looking up higher, check the window blinds with ropes that can choke, and any cribs with larger openings that can entangle the child. Hot dogs cause many child-choking deaths, but cutting them lengthwise can help.
4. Poisons and Firearms. These have no place where young children might access them, and certainly no chemicals are to be kept under the sink in an unlocked cabinet.
5. Equipment. It is critical that appropriate playground equipment be correctly maintained, all bolts covered and equipment spaced, along with ground cover that cushions falls. Toddlers should only swing in toddler swings, and pinch points, such as in see-saws, must be protected or removed.
Many of these points can help those with smaller children make their homes safer. Feel free to use this checklist at Grandma’s house or with your daycare to help insure the safety of younger children.
Injuries at a daycare are usually minor, like a bite or fall, but more serious problems like fractures and choking deaths are preventable; and daycares should be held legally accountable for carelessness with our valuable possessions: our children.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.
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