Many people believe that child care is one of the
most demanding yet rewarding professions of all time. It has now become
a multi-million industry that spans a network of day care centers,
kinder garden, franchise and large corporations. All of the institutions
are working together to provide children with their parental and
educational needs. With such a delicate duty, it is vital for the
industry professionals to improve on the existing safety standards in
the child care industry.
Statistics show that the fastest growing sectors in the child care
industry are the multitude of small businesses. These entities mostly
operate from homes. According to US Census Bureau, nearly 70 percent of
child care related businesses are home based. A whopping 17 percent of
Moms are using the services of the neighborhood child care centers for
their preschool children.
Child Safety is Always First
Recent rulings have deployed stringent rules in order to curb the risk
of injuries that can be incurred by babies. Governments and parents have
come together to create child safety laws, not only for the
establishments but for parents as well. These laws stresses that the
daycare should provide a comfortable, very much like home setting.
Licensed providers are required to take trainings before dealing with
child care. The facilities should be regularly visited by the
authorities and a group of parents from the local neighborhoods. The US
laws restrict a single provider to take care of more than 6 children. On
the other hand, parents are obliged to put their child in the day care
center in their own community, except for mothers working full-time.
Hazards to Watch Out For
Childcare safety statistics reveal the fact that there were 56
casualties in the daycare settings between the years 1990 and 1997.
Almost half of these deaths were due to Asphyxia. In 1997 alone, over
31,000 children were hospitalized due to the injuries related to a child
care setting. A recent study by the Society of pediatrics and Center for
the control of disease focused on facilities that included federal
institutions, private institutes and small businesses. The study found
that the playgrounds posed the biggest hazard to a child.
The most hazardous conditions included the use of unsafe cribs, poor
maintenance and hard surface of the playground, very soft bedding and
absence of the safety gates.
Professionals recommend avoiding the use of furniture that can entrap
the child's head or other parts of the body. Any elevated surface that
is not guarded should also be closed or locked. Such surface also
includes stairs. Similarly, fall-zones such as swimming pools and main
holes provide a significant threat to the well being of a child. The
design of the intended child care product should match the age and size
of the children. Day care centers should ensure that they have the
proper inventory for the different child ages they admit.
Tripping hazards are also another consideration therefore such faulty
wirings should immediately be removed from the premises. These also
include electrical appliances. Children have the natural tendency to
poke their fingers in the sockets usually found on walls. It is
mandatory for a child care center to seal off such openings.