Is Your Day Care in Compliance with Current Safety Regulations?
Child care centers serve a vital need in local communities and no one group is more appreciative of these facilities than busy parents. Maintaining a positive reputation in the community as a safe place for children takes much effort on the part of the day care owner. If you operate a day care center, it’s important for you to be in compliance with current safety standards.
Following your local and state governments’ safety regulations will help to minimize the number of injuries at your center. While youngsters might bump into another child or an object or fall down at some point during an activity, you can prevent serious injuries from occurring to a child at your facility.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s National Action for Child Injury Prevention, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries among children 1 to 19 years old. Surprisingly, more than 9,000 children die each year as a result of unintentional injuries, such as falling, drowning, suffocation, and poisoning, the study says. The CDC report further shows that unintentional injuries are “predictable and preventable when proper safety precautions are taken.”
Taking Steps to Safety
Creating a checklist for your day care facility will remind you of what needs to be done to maintain a safe environment. The checklist will also be a tremendous help to prepare you for a local or state inspection. In some regions, inspectors show up at your day care center with no advance notice.
Each state has its own laws for child care operations. However, the following are among the rules and regulations that all states share:
1. Make sure your state-issued child care center license is current.
2. Conduct a criminal background check on all of your employees. Do not allow any of your employees to carry firearms or other weapons into your building.
3. Have a written emergency plan in place in case of injury, illness, fire or dangerous weather. Practice safety drills with your staff.
4. Keep your building structure up to local and state codes.
5. Make sure the youngsters are supervised by your staff at all times. The adult to infant ratio is usually 1:4 when caring for children up to 2 years old. Follow the specific guidelines for your state since the adult-child ratio increases as the children are older.
6. Lock doors that lead to stairways, storage areas or basements.
7. Keep cleaning solutions and other chemicals out of the children’s reach.
8. Frequently check for furniture or toys in need of repair or disposal.
9. Secure all electrical outlets.
10. Conduct a frequent inspection of all playground equipment.
Another Item to Place on your Checklist
No matter how much you follow the safety rules, there’s always a possibility that a child might get injured. Before this occurs, it is recommended that you retain or at least consult legal counsel, whether that means personal injury lawyers Charlotte based or from Cleveland.
A personal injury attorney might question your operational methods to make sure you are complying with safety regulations. An attorney would also be immediately necessary if someone were to file a claim against your center.
In operating a child care facility, keep in mind that parents have entrusted their children’s care into your hands and you should do all that you can to keep their youngsters as safe as possible.
Being a mother of two young children, author Molly Pearce is particularly concerned with the topics of childcare and safety. As a former preschool teacher, she shares this post with the knowledge of the numerous things that could go wrong at a day care center at any given time and careful safety precautions are crucial. Auger & Auger Attorneys at law can also attest to this statement. They are a firm of personal injury lawyers Charlotte has counted on for the past 18 years when it comes to accidents, particularly day care injuries.
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