CONTRIBUTE TO CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S HEALTH AND SAFETY
Know the health and safety policies and procedures of the work setting
Childhood is all about learning from experiences. And that experiences can be good and not. Every year over 300 children under 15 years of age die in the UK from an accidental injury. Accidents are the greatest cause of death and major cause of disability and ill health. Over 100000 children are admitted to hospital and over two million visit accident and emergency departments every year.
Health and safety policies and procedures of the work setting are a number of legal and regulatory requirements that help to guard children and adults in any setting. All early years settings in the UK have to comply with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This covers areas like safeguarding, suitable people, suitable premises and equipment, organisation, documentation.
The Inspectorates for every country check that settings follow the framework. These are: Ofsted in England; HM in Scotland; ESTYN in Wales; The ETI in Northern Ireland. In additional to the Early Years Framework, health and safety legislation sets out legal needs to keep everyone safe in different situations in each of the countries in the UK.
Risk assessment. A risk assessment is an examination of a task, job or method that you carry out at work. It would be impossible to prevent every single minor bump and graze – but it possible to eliminate most risks and protect children. Risk assessment have to be carried out in all public places, places of employment, care settings and similar to make sure that people are not injured unnecessarily. All day to day activities and places at your setting are risk-assessed. Any new activity has to have risk assessment before children are involved.
Risk assessment take into consideration:
A large number of everyday things that will seem harmless or go unheeded however might be dangerous.
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A vary of areas from the condition of toys and equipment to hygiene and cleanliness to access to children by members of the public.
Risk assessment aren’t expected to be perfect but they must be suitable, sufficient and reasonably practical.
Managers should to be ready to show that:
A proper check was made around your work place;
They asked who might be affected;
They dealt with all the significant hazards;
Take precautionary measures to reduce the risk;
They involve staff, children and parents where applicable in the process.
Managers and staff in a setting must think about:
Who is responsible for carrying out risk assessments;
Who has responsibility for safety in the different areas;
How risk assessments will be displayed, implemented and reviewed;
How they will link to health and safety policies, training and induction sessions.
Risk is part of life and you’re not expected to eliminate all risks or anticipate unforeseeable risks – your risk assessment should only include what you’re realistically expected to know. In general, you need to do everything, as far as is reasonably practicable, to protect people from harm.
Be able to recognise risk and hazards in the work settings and during off-site visits.
Creating a safe but challenging environment. Children learn by trying out new experiences and making choices, but they haven’t the skills and judgement to always make safe choices. Carers have the responsibility not only to identify potential hazards in any situation, but also to judge when it is safe to allow a child to undertake an activity or make a choice. It’s important to make sure children are safe, but it also very important to give them the chance to explore and experiment. Children learn their limits through experimenting and pushing their level of skill, and we have to help to support them to try to do that safely. We need to form activities with children to make them aware of how they will take care of themselves – but these can be fun and interesting. Risk itself won’t damage children, but ill-managed and overprotective actions could!
Any activity a child does has some risk connected, even one things as simple as painting. If the activity is planned and organised well, with thought given to possible risk, the likelihood of an accident or injury should be minimal. The key is to balance the risk of an activity against the benefit to and safety of the child. Understanding the stage of development a child is at and their individual needs can help you to provide the right amount of risk in activities. Risk and challenge are important to a child or young person’s development. Avoiding them would result in a very timid adult lacking in many everyday skills. It would be easy to respond to all the risks to which children are exposed by not allowing them to explore or experiment. Children need to explore their environment – it is one of the ways in which they that children are given the freedom to develop their skills, with adult support but not too much intervention.
Some children need this freedom to explore risk even more than others. For example, a child who has epilepsy may be restricted in play at home because of parental concern that the child
may have a fit. In a well-controlled setting the child can be encouraged to explore and try out new skills.
The differences between risk and hazard. When someone carries out a risk assessment, the person has to think about the hazard and the risk. For example, a childcare setting being on a main road could be a major risk, the hazard is the road and the traffic. However, although the risk is serious, it’s unlikely to cause harm as the entrance on the road is secure and carefully controlled, and a child could not get out into the road. A risk assessment identifies potential hazards. It’s a legal requirement, as the person responsible needs to be able to show that they are aware of any risks and that plans are in place to control and minimise these risks.
Any setting or activity carries grade of risk. By identifying and reducing hazards and risks in advance, you can make full use of the setting or activity to maximise the value to and enjoyment by the children in your charge.
Every person working with children is responsible for their safety. It is important that the environment children are working in is regularly checked, before and during activities.
Contributing to health and safety risk assessments.
Identify the hazards: we need to walk round our setting and look at what could reasonably be expected to cause harm. Are there trailing electrical wires? Are toys left around to form trip hazards?
Decide who could be injured and how: for every hazard, be clear about who might be harmed. How might they be harmed and what kind of injury could result? For example, if a child pulls the kettle that is attached to the trailing wire, they will be scalded.
Evaluate the risks and decide on any control measure;
Record your findings and implement them: write down your results, keeping it simple: for example, name of hazard identified; what you’ve got done regarding it; who has been informed; who goes to act on it and how often.
Visits or outings present different hazards to indoor activities in a controlled environment. Staff have a responsibility to ensure that outings are properly planned and carried out. If a proper risk assessment is carried out and suitable control measures put in place, off-site visits are enjoyable activities for children and staff. The best way to assess risk for an outing is to make a provisional visit yourself.
Visits and outings are carefully planned using following guidelines:
A pre-visit checklist, full risk assessment and outings plan will always be carried out by staff before the outing to assess the risks with may arise for the children;
Written permission will always be obtained from parents before taking children on trip;
A fully stocked first aid box with any special medication or equipment required will always be taken;
A completed trip register together with all parent and staff contact numbers will be taken on all outings;
Children will be easily identified by staff when on a trip by use of a sticker system. The nursery name, number. They will wear the high visibility vests;
A fully charged mobile phone will be taken as a means of emergency contact;
In the event of an accident, staff will assess the situation. If required, the group will return to nursery immediately and parents will be contacted to collect their child. In the event of a serious accident an ambulance will be called at the scene, as well as parents being contacted. One member of staff will accompany the child to the hospital, and the rest of the group will return to the nursery.
Example: outing to the park:
Walk to the park – hazard: traffic dangers, child wandering off and getting lost.
Use of play equipment – hazard: broken or damaged equipment, equipment not suitable for age of child (e.g. very high slide).
Recent rain – hazard: lack of waterproof clothing (wet, cold children), effect on play equipment.
Know what to do in the event of a non-medical incident or emergency.
Non – medical incidents and emergencies – do happen in any setting. Most days in our setting can pass with children safe from harm. This is because staff are aware of possible threats to safety and take the right action to prevent them – that means, an effective risk assessment has been done and control measures have been put in place. Sometimes incidents and emergencies do happen. We need to know how to identify when the children or young people in our setting are at risk from an incident or emergency.
If you think an incident or emergency has happened you must immediately raise the alarm.
Actions to take in response to fires, security incidents and emergency incidents.
Emergency incidents and Evacuation procedures. There are many reasons why a building may need to be evacuated (for example, in the event of a fire, a gas leak or a bomb scare). All adults need to know what to do. In most settings, one member of staff is responsible for these procedures and will need to make sure that all staff are aware of the evacuation procedures. Practices need to be held regularly and signs and notices must be kept in place.
Missing children. A child should never go missing from a care or education setting if all procedures are followed. A small child should not be able to open gates or doors, and any adult going through them should follow all precautions to ensure they are properly closed and locked. You should follow strict procedures that only allow the collection of children by parents or authorised carers. On outings always ensure the right ratio of adults to children.
However, if a child does go missing you should raise the alarm immediately and follow the setting’s procedures, including:
Making sure all the other children are safe and with responsible adults;
Making sure any outings are secure;
Informing the person in charge;
Starting a systematic search, based on where the child was last seen, and with whom, and make sure all areas are covered;
Informing the child’s parents;
Informing the local police.
Fire. If there is a fire in our setting, here are the steps we should follow:
Close doors and windows and try to get the children out of the premises by normal routes.
Do not leave the children unattended.
Do not stop to put out the fire (unless it is very small).
Call the fire brigade by telephone as soon as possible as follows:
Lift the receiver and dial ‘999’
Give the operator your telephone number and ask for ‘Fire’; when the brigade replies give the information clearly: Fire at the Little Amber Nursery, 218 Tollgate Rd, London E6 5Y, situated in St Mark Community Centre.
Do not replace the receiver until the address has been repeated by the fire operator.
Have a fire drill every three months.
Reassure children during a practice by staying calm and explaining what is happening.
Praise children and thank them for their help in carrying out the evacuation.
Provide an absorbing activity, such as reading a story or playing a game, to help the children settle down quickly.
Security incidents. There should never be any unauthorised person in a nursery. Anyone who does not work in a setting should sign in a visitor book, have a badge identifying them as a visitor and always be accompanied by a member of staff. Always ask someone who you do not recognise for their identity badge. If they cannot produce one, you must immediately tell your supervisor or another manager and, if possible, stay with the unauthorised person until you get help.
Know what to do in the event of a child or young person becoming ill or injured
Identifying the signs and symptoms. Children and young people have accidents and become unwell. From happily playing or working, a child can rapidly need medical help. Than it’s important that you:
Can recognise when a child is unwell or injured;
Can identify when urgent help is needed;
Know your role and responsibilities in these circumstances.
Most children will let you know when they are not well. You may see obvious signs of this, such as the child being pale or vomiting, or a child may tell you their symptoms, saying for example that they feel sick or have a pain. Often when a child is unwell they may behave in a different way to usual. Even a mild illness may cause a normally active happy child to lose their energy, not want to play, cry or be very quiet.
We need to be able to identify the circumstances when a child or young person needs urgent medical attention, and to be able to do so swiftly and confidently. Children will arrive at your setting apparently well and happy, and later in the day become unwell or have an accident. In most cases, it will be enough to look after the child until parents or carers can collect them. In some cases, the condition may be life-threatening and needs urgent medical attention if the child is going to survive. It is very important to recognise when a child may be seriously ill so that you can take rapid action.
You should dial 999 for an ambulance for any of the following:
Difficulty in breathing;
Asthma attack that doesn’t respond to use of an inhaler;
Child is floppy or unresponsive;
Significant change in behaviour;
Child is unconscious;
Child is unable to swallow;
Purple, blue or grey skin or lips;
Wounds that will not stop bleeding;
Burns or scalds;
Any of these symptoms after a head injury: headache, confusion, vomiting, wobbling, problems with seeing;
Suspicion that the child may have meningitis: severe stiff neck, fever, headache, purple or red rash that fails the glass test;
Severe pain, especially if it gets worse;
Dehydration: sunken features, not passing much urine, lethargic;
Signs of frostbite;
Eating or drinking any poison;
Raised itchy lumps (hives) accompanied by any swelling of the mouth and/or nose.
We should get urgent medical attention for a child or young person who has:
Severe vomiting or diarrhoea;
A very high temperature, especially if the child appears ill;
A cut that may need stitches;
Difficulty in walking or using their arms after a fall;
Any animal bites that break the skin;
Bites or stings where the redness and swelling spreads or the child seems ill;
Any other condition that gives you serious cause for concern.
A child may have a long-term medical condition such as asthma, serious allergies, or a blood disorder such as sickle cell anaemia. In any such case, the parents or carers will have given the setting information on what to look out for and what to do about it if the child needs medical help.
Meningitis. Meningitis is a potentially life-threatening illness that can become serious very quickly. There are several strains of meningitis and the immunisation programme offers protection from some of them. If you suspect a child may have meningitis, you must get medical help immediately. Both adults and children may have a rash. One sign meningococcal septicaemia is a rash that does not fade under pressure (the glass test). The rash is caused by blood leaking into the tissues under the skin. It starts as tiny pinpricks anywhere on the body, and can spread quickly to look like fresh bruises. The rash is more difficult to see on darker skin; look on the paler areas of the skin and under the eyelids. If someone is ill or obviously getting worse, do not wait for a rash – it may appear late or not at all. A fever with a rash that does not fade under pressure is a medical emergency.
Role and responsibilities for urgent medical attention. A child who is very ill or has been injured will be frightened and upset, as indeed will any other children who are in the area. Your main responsibility as a learner is to tell a qualified member of staff who will:
Know what to do in an emergency;
Help to preserve life and to prevent the effects of the illness or injury becoming any worse than necessary.
While you are training you should never be left alone with a group of children. If you do find a child who seems to be in need of urgent medical attention, tell someone immediately and be ready to do what they ask you to do, such as:
Ringing for ambulance;
Fetching the first aid kit;
Contacting other people;
Reassuring other children in the area.
If a child is seriously ill or injured and you do not find yourself in a situation with no one else around, take a deep breath, try to stay calm and follow the immediate actions in the checklist below:
Survey the scene: check you will be safe, see what has happened and who is involved;
If anyone is around, call out for help;
Check the child is breathing and take action if not;
Make sure any other children in the area are looked after;
Find out what is wrong with the child, to see if an ambulance is necessary and what immediate care is needed;
Provide the immediate first aid care;
Call for an ambulance;
Notify parents or carers;
Talk to the child and any other children involved as soon as possible after the incident.
Ambulances. When dialling 999, always have ready the details of the accident or illness, the age of the child and of course where the injured child is. Stay on the phone until the person in the control room tells you to hang up-they may need more information from you.
First aid kits. All children’s settings should have a well-equipped first aid kit that is easily to hand in the case of an accident. All staff should know where it is. Always make sure you know where the first aid box is kept, and what is in it. A named person should be responsible for checking the kit and replacing missing items, although anyone using an item from the kit has a responsibility to report this to the named person.
After the event. When all the action has settled down you may need to: write down what happened in the accident or incident book; fill in an accident form; talk to you supervisor about what happened and what you learned from the situation.
Be able to follow the work setting procedures for reporting and recording accidents, incidents, emergencies and illnesses
When child or young person has been injured or become ill, or there is an incident, very often this must be recorded and possibly reported to the authorities. Keeping accurate records is important so that any patterns of incidents are noted and action is taken to prevent them happening again. All settings must have a clear procedure for recording and reporting any incident, emergency or illness.
Reporting accidents or illness. Some accidents must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive, particularly if the child is seriously injured (examples: a major injury; if the child is absent due to the injury for more than three days). Settings must: keep a signed record of all accidents to children; notify Ofsted (HM in Scotland) of any serious accident, illness, injury or death of any child or adult on the premises; tell local child protection agencies about any serious accident, injury to, or death of a child in the setting and act on any advice given. Notification must be made as soon as is reasonably possible but in any event within 14 days of the incident occurring. Ofsted (or HM) inspectors may look at records of significant accidents and incidents. All need to be signed by the parent/carer. For confidentiality there should only be one page per child, per accident or incident.
All our accident files folder held in the main children play room nr.1. The person responsible for reporting accidents, incidents or near misses is the member of staff who saw the incident or was first to find the child. They must record it on an Accident Form and report it to the nursery manager. Parents must be shown the Accident Report, informed of any first aid treatment given and asked to sign it as soon as they collect their child.
Be able to follow infection control procedures.
If a child arrives at the setting and the Manager/Deputy Manager does not consider a child well enough to attend, the parent/carers will be advised accordingly. We will make every effort to stop the spread of infection within the setting but can only do this with the co-operation of parent/carers. Our nursery recommended exclusion period are:
Coughs, colds and sore throats – we appreciate that children often pick up cold viruses without being ill and accept they do not need to stay away from the setting, however, if they have a raised temperature, continued cough, or are unable to eat, then exclusion will be necessary for 48 hours.
Any child with sickness or diarrhoea must be kept away from the setting for at least 48 hours after the last episode of sickness and/or diarrhoea;
Temperatures – any child with a raised temperature, even if not accompanied by any other symptoms, should be kept away for 24 hours.
If a child becomes unwell during a session, make them comfortable in a quiet place. Than contact the child’s parent/carer and discuss with them the best course of action.
At our nursery we promote the good health of all children attending through maintaining high hygiene standards and reducing the chances of infection being spread. Viruses and infections can be easily passed from person to person by breathing in air containing the virus which is produced when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. Our staff have to:
Encourage all children use tissues when coughing and sneezing to catch germs;
Ensure all tissues are disposed of in hygienic way and all children and staff wash their hands once the tissue is disposed of;
Wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when changing nappies, toileting children, wash hands;
Clean and sterilise all potties and changing mats, clean toilets at least daily;
Remind children to wash their hands;
Clean all toys, equipment and resources on a regular basis using antibacterial cleanser;
Provide labelled individual bedding for children that is not used by any other child and wash this at least once a week.
Personal hygiene control.
No one is permitted to smoke at any time within the confines of the early years centre.
Staff and children are required to use liquid antibacterial soap and paper towels.
All staff and children must to wash their hands regularly throughout the day.
In activities where food is prepared for general consumption, staff must ensure that all children’s hands are checked for cuts, sores or plasters etc.
It is essential that staff suffering from food poisoning symptoms, i.e. diarrhoea or vomiting must contact the head of centre and not come into work at least 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.