Saftey Tips For Children's Nurseries And Childcare Premises
When taking care of children, their health and safety is always priority whether you're a teacher, carer or childcare provider. When a child is young, it’s particularly important to create a safe, secure and happy environment for them to explore and develop. It's also paramount to consider the legal aspects that nurseries and childcare premises need to abide by. National Testing evaluate the common problems nurseries are faced with and how to ensure precautions are put into place to help prevent accidents from happening.
Childcare Risk Assessments
Risk assessing is especially important for those who offer children's nursery services to the public. Not only do owners have a corporate social responsibility, they also need to adhere to legal safeguarding and welfare requirements set by The Early Years Foundation Stage. These requirements include premises and equipment being clean as well as having a health and safety policy in place which includes aspects such as: accidents, hazards and faulty equipment.
Having a risk assessment diary on premises means you can routinely examine the environment and record any problems with equipment or the building. Logging the date it is reported and the date that it has been resolved also creates a clear agenda for identifying where the hazards are and what the company has done to rectify these.
Due to children's height being much lower than adults, risks from bumping into objects can be much more likely. Couple this with their high energy levels and some objects can become high risk. Implementing corner protectors on tables and cushioning sharp objects can greatly reduce the risk of injury and create a safer environment for all.
Similarly, the very nature of the environment means that there are likely to be a lot of trip hazards in the form of toys and other items. Creating a schedule in order to ensure these are cleared away at regular intervals means that children will be able to navigate their way to their next activity without having to tackle numerous obstacles.
As we know, when children are learning to walk or when they are running around with excitement, falling becomes almost inevitable. One common mistake that people make with creating a safe environment for a child is the flooring material used or maintenance of the flooring.
Flooring needs to be fit for purpose as well as conforming to government slip resistance standards. It is important that owners or employees make themselves aware of the places where potential slips, trips and falls might be more likely to occur - here are two examples of common problem areas in a nursery setting and how you might improve them:
- Often, children tend to leave wet floors once they have washed their hands after visiting the restroom. To try and reduce the risk of children falling as they leave the toilet area, special non-slip coating can be applied to the floor which will give a rough finish, creating greater slip resistance in both wet and dry conditions.
- We all know that whilst children are growing up, they can also be rather messy in the kitchen and dining areas. With the high amounts of food and drink that are often spilled in this area, it is increasingly important for you to get the correct flooring in place before dedicating the area as a place for dining. One solution that we suggest it avoid smooth tiled floors. A smooth flooring is more likely to cause a slippery surface. Instead, try to install a textured floor as this will reduce the slip resistance.
Having a pendulum slip test carried out by an accredited professional is crucial to determine the slip resistance of your flooring. Adequate slip resistance needs to be shown not only on new flooring installed but also to existing floor materials due to potential deterioration over time.
To find out whether your nursery or creche flooring is safe and exceeding slip resistance regulations contact our team at National Testing today. We can help advise you on any new flooring laid as well as test existing flooring to ensure it's still safe for both your staff and children.