Chapter 11 Promoting Children’s Safety
Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc.
To properly supervise a group of children,
keep your back to the classroom wall. Focus on the
interior of the classroom. The entire room should
be visible. Move closer to an area if you observe
children who need assistance or redirection.
Likewise, constantly observe children who are not
involved in an activity. Be especially protective
of younger children. Usually, younger children
require more staff supervision than older children.
Bumps and bruises can occur in overcrowded
classrooms. Make sure there is enough space
for furniture and equipment. Observe children
as they play. Can they move from area to area
without bumping into furniture or other children?
If suffi cient space does not exist, remove some
furniture or rearrange the classroom.
Maintain Minimum Adult-Child
Adult-child ratio relates directly to safety. A
classroom should never have fewer adults than
required by state law for its age level and group
size. Having more adults than the minimum is
even safer. These extra adults can step in quickly
to protect children when unsafe situations arise.
At least the minimum number of staff members
set by your state’s licensing rules must be present at
all times. Failure to comply may result in the center’s
license being revoked or a citation indicating the
center was not in compliance. Remember, too, if a
child is injured and staff/child ratios are not being
met, center staff may be held liable.
Develop Safety Limits
Limits are guides to actions and behaviors
that refl ect the goals of a program. Limits have
also been called rules. The most important limits
set by early childhood teachers involve safety
issues. These limits protect the children in the
classroom. Make safety limits clear, simple, and
easy for children to understand.
Some typical safety limits include:
Walk indoors. Do not run.
Use blocks for building, not for hitting.
Wipe up spills right away.
Tell the teacher when equipment breaks.
Always fasten your seat belt when riding
in the center’s van.
Always use safety straps on equipment
when available (Figure 11.2).
Figure 11.2 Child care teachers should use safety
straps when available on outside equipment.
Reducing the Risk of Abuse—
Facility Layout
In order to protect children from abuse, early
childhood facilities should be arranged so all
areas of the center are visible by at least one
other adult in addition to the care provider.
An arrangement that provides high visibility
eliminates isolation of children and the child
care staff. To enhance visibility and safety, child
care facilities may also use video surveillance
equipment or other such devices.
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