One of the most important factors when looking for child care facilities is to assess the safety of a given facility for your child(ren)'s needs. At home, you're responsible for ensuring high safety standards, but away from home, this job falls to the care providers to whom you entrust your child. Checking in advance that they are prepared for various emergencies should be top on your list before giving the green light on any facility. This article highlights two important aspects related to child safety.
1. First aid
Even with strong preventive measures, injury during your absence can be expected with children, and it can be major or minor. In both cases, the facility must have the tools and expertise to manage the injury or mitigate damage before more specialized care can be sought.
Ideally, every room in the childcare centre should have a well-stocked first aid kit as well as a trained first aid provider conversant with CPR. Smaller facilities may have one kit, but it must be easily accessible to all care providers at all times. These kits should be kept away from children in sealed cupboards/containers that are well-organized. Exhausted supplies should be restocked after every use. In addition, there must be an additional kit in each transport vehicle whenever children will be leaving the facility.
On your first visit, ask to see where their first aid kits are and to be shown what's contained in them. You can also plan an impromptu visit for this. There should be scheduled checks at least monthly to remove any damaged/expired materials/medication. In addition, if your child has special needs, such as drug allergies or emergency conditions like asthmatic or anaphylactic attacks, ensure the facility's kit has the medication your child needs.
2. Emergency response
From minor accidents to crises and natural disasters, you must know the facility's response policy. For instance, what hospital will they take the child in case of medical emergencies? What's their preparedness and response to crises like earthquakes, blizzards, bomb threats, armed attacks or fires? How are emergencies communicated to the parents? Understanding these protocols beforehand can help you deal with crises situations more calmly.
As a parent, you should know which caregiver to contact in case there's any problem at the school, and the channels used by the school to relay emergency information. In case you're inaccessible, you should know what arrangements will be made for your child's treatment when harmed or their care when alright.
Finally, ensure that the facility has contact information for both parents as well as one or two other responsible adults that can be temporary guardians if you can't be reached for any reason. If there are any changes to this information, be sure to update the records in a timely manner.