According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms each year in the United States because of playground injuries. On public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbing equipment. While on home playgrounds, it’s the swings. Nannies and babysitters are responsible for the well-being of the children in their care, so how can child care providers keep them safe?
As the adult, you’re going to be on the lookout for anything that could be potentially harmful to the children. Before going out to the playground, be sure to set clear expectations with the kids to make sure you can do your job well
1. You’re in Charge
At a moment’s notice, the authority of your voice can be a powerful tool. Make sure that the kids in your care understand that you’re ultimately in charge and listening to you is important to their safety.
2. Asking For Help
It’s important for kids to be pushed just outside of their comfort zone once in a while, but it’s just as important for them to know when they need to ask for help. Have a conversation about which parts of the playground they can venture on their own and which parts you should do together.
3. Together is Better
Being nearby is critical to help keep the kids in your care safe. Especially if you’re looking after more than one child, making sure that everyone stays close is important in keeping an eye out and lending a hand.
Assess the Situation
Whenever you arrive at a playground, take a moment to assess the environment. Ask yourself:
- Which areas and pieces of equipment present the most danger?
- What needs to be inspected for safety?
- Is there anything off-limits for the kids in my care?
Communicate with your kids about where they’re free to play, when they should ask for your help, and what’s off-limits completely.
If you’re interested in being ready to keep the kids in your care safe outdoors, check out ChildCare Education Institute’s course, Outdoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting. This course covers common outdoor injuries and appropriate ways to prevent them. You’ll also learn about the various components of playground safety and hazards, as well as the steps that must be taken to prevent accidental poisoning.
Sittercity sitters get a special 20% discount off a year of courses, so start with Outdoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting and keep going from there! In addition to this course, they have over 150 online child care training courses in English and Spanish that meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start requirements.
Taking continuing education courses is a great way to build your credentials on your profile as well as having strong talking points in the interview process. CCEI offers the convenience of taking coursework from work, home, a library, or anywhere internet access is available, so they make it easy for you to learn at your own pace and around your schedule.