Child care is seen by many as one of the most respected and equally demanding professions. It is now 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 reveal that the fastest growing sector in the child care industry is the many small businesses. These entities mostly operate from homes. According to US Census Bureau, nearly 70 percent of the child care related businesses are home based. A whopping 17 percent of the Moms are using the services of the neighborhood child care centers for their pre-school children. Kinder-Care, La Petite Academy, National Childcare Academy and Gerber products are some of the few big names of the industry.
Laws & Regulations
Recent rulings have deployed stringent rules in order to curb the risk of injuries to babies. Governments and parents have come together to create child safety laws, not only for the establishments but for parents too. These laws strss that the daycare should provide a home like 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.
Childcare safety statistics reveal the fact that there were 56 casualties in the daycare settings from 1990 to 1997. Almost half of these deaths were caused 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 part of the body. Any elevated surface that is not guarded should also be sealed off. 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 all the ages of the child, they admit.
Tripping hazards such as wires should immediately be removed from the premises. These also include any electrical appliance. Children have the natural tendency to poke their fingers in the wall sockets. It is mandatory for a child care center to seal off such openings. All components are to be avoided that can crush or bruise body tissues. Playground equipment should be inspected and any large swings or slides, to be removed. Stuff toys which can suffocate a small child are also a problem. In short, the best remedy for avoiding a disaster is acute attention and a common sense.
Gary Pearson is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
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