Accident-Proofing Your Home Or Daycare

Statistics prove that more children die each year from injury-related accidents than from any other cause. In fact, three out of 10 children require medical help as a result of an accident. What makes these statistics so startling is that most of these injuries could have been prevented.

Keeping Safe

By applying a few safety and child-proofing measures, parents can make their home snug and secure. For parents who's children are in child care the process is two-fold, for not only must they be concerned about safety in their own home, but in the daycare centre or daycare home as well. For their own peace of mind, parents should inspect their daycare or day home on a monthly basis to ensure the following safety measures are being met and maintained:

    * telephone numbers for the police, fire department, hospital, ambulance and poison control center are posted by each telephone
    * fire detectors are in working order
    * cupboards containing cleaning supplies, medicines and other toxic substances are safety-latched
    * stairwells are closed off with properly installed gates
    * electrical outlets have plastic covers
    * knives, razors, matches and other dangerous objects are out of the reach of the children
    * furniture and equipment are free of splinters, rusty nails and lead paint
    * poisonous plants are out of the children's reach
    * the center or home is free of dangling cords or hanging table cloths
    * the first aid kit is within easy reach and is completely stocked
    * pot and pan handles are turned away from the edge of the stove and the stove knobs are not within a child's reach
    * the outside playing area is free of broken glass, construction materials, tools, lawn mowers, car parts, has a secure fence and a tightly-closed trash container
    * toys, both inside and outside are free of broken or loose parts; small objects are not within reach of an infant or toddler
    * child care equipment such as cribs, high chairs, playpens, etc., are in working order, free of loose or broken parts, and most important,
    * children are being properly supervised, and the center or home is maintaining the proper staff/child ratio as set out by the local licensing board.

On the whole, most providers are extremely safety conscious and will welcome a parent's inspection. However, a provider who refused to let a parent inspect the premises for safety concerns or does not rectify any concerns after repeated requests by the parent to do so, should be reported to the local licensing board. At this point a parent would be wise to find alternate care for their child