IN THE CHILD CARE SETTING
CHILDHOOD DISEASES AND CONDITIONS
IN THE CHILD CARE SETTING
The risk of an injury happening is directly related to the physical environment and childrens behaviors, and how these are managed. Injuries can be divided into two categories--unintentional and intentional. Unintentional injuries may result from choking, falls, burns, drowning, swallowing toxic or other materials (poisoning), cuts from sharp objects, exposure to environmental hazards such as chemicals, radon, or lead, or animal bites, or other accidents. (Some of the common environmental hazards are addressed in the "Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Child Care Facility" section of this booklet.) Intentional injuries are usually due to bites, fights, or abuse.
You can prevent most injuries that occur in the child care setting by:
Preparing for Injuries
Injuries require immediate action. You will need to assess the injury to determine what type of medical attention, if any, is required. Everyone working with children should have up-to-date training in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). At a minimum, one person with this training must be present at the child care site at all times. The next chapter on "Establishing Policies to Promote Health and Safety" includes a section on policies you should use to handle injuries and other emergencies.
Children are often injured unintentionally during the normal course of a day. Many of these injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, are minor and only need simple first aid. Other injuries can be serious and require medical attention beyond first aid. Call 911 or your local emergency number if an injured child has any of the following conditions:
Hazards in the Facility
Children in child care have many opportunities for coming in contact with substances that can hurt them. Child care providers can help reduce children's exposure to these hazards by taking preventive measures. Chapter III, on "Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Facility," gives information on preventing childrens exposure to such harmful substances as chemicals, lead, air pollution, and radon in the child care setting.
Aggressive Behavior and Bites
Children show aggression (hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior) either verbally (what they say) or physically (how they act). Verbal aggression by other children or adults, such as belittling, ridiculing, or taunting a child, can injure a child's self-esteem. Physical aggression, such as biting, hitting, scratching, and kicking, may result in physical injuries. Parents have become greatly concerned about physical injuries that cause bleeding to their child, especially being bitten by another child, because they fear this may expose their child to a risk of infection from HIV, which causes AIDS, or hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver damage.
To deter aggressive behavior you should:
If a child is bitten by another child:
Child abuse is harm to, or neglect of, a child by another person, whether adult or child. Child abuse happens in all cultural, ethnic, and income groups. Child abuse can be physical, emotional/verbal, sexual or through neglect. Abuse may cause serious injury to the child and may even result in death. Signs of possible abuse include:
Abuse can happen in any family, regardless of any special characteristics. However, in dealing with parents, be aware of characteristics of families in which abuse may be more likely:
If you suspect child abuse of any kind, you should:
If you employ other providers or accept volunteers to help you care for the children in your facility, you should check their background for a past history of child abuse or other criminal activity. Contact your local police department. Many states require that child care providers have background and criminal history checks.
Dealing with child abuse is emotionally difficult for a provider. As a child care provider, you should get training in recognizing and reporting child abuse before you are confronted with a suspected case. If you suspect a case of child abuse, you may need to seek support from your local health department, child support services department, or other sources within your area.
|Note: This information is not intended to take the place of your state's or locality's child care regulations and laws. In every case, the laws and regulations of the city, county, and state in which the child care facility is located must be carefully followed even if they differ from these recommendations.|
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