In continuation to my yesterday's write-up on how safe are the day centres, play schools and pre-schools, do we as parents really check whether the schools have the required safety checks in place or not ? As a parent are we aware of the necessary checks in regards to child safety that we should consider before choosing a play school or a day care for our little ones? It is our responsibility to take the decision in terms of safety of our child as we cannot be present to monitor our child always.
Let's now throw some light on some of the basic child safety pre-requisites that a junior school (day care, preschool or play school) should have
Top 10 Safety Checks for Day Care & Playschools that Every Parent Should Check:
* Walls, floors, roofs and staircase are in good condition with no broken patches that may harm children. Door guards or finger guards are fixed to rule out any finger entrapment or hand crushing injury.
* There is a doctor-on-call for emergency within two kilometres of the school & the medical room is equipped to handle medical emergencies.
* All drains, pumps, bore-wells and overhead tanks within the premises or near the facility are covered properly.
* Benches, desks (be they wood, mould/plastic, metal) have round edges and are not broken .If not, then corner guards should be in place.
* All vigilance and monitoring mechanisms are installed.
* There are adequate fire-extinguishers as per norms, installed in the required places and staff members know how to use them.
* The school buses /vans are maintained in good condition and are equipped with First –Aid boxes, fire extinguisher, emergency exit and proper locking mechanism. A teacher or an attendant, (a female attendant when girls are on board) is always on board accompanying the children in the bus/van.
* The parents are connected with messaging system or mobile phone networking.
* There are speed breakers on the road, on either side of the school at the required distance to ensure safety of children, with appropriate traffic signs.
* There is a ban on corporal punishment and emotional harassment of students by teaching and non- teaching staff.
Emergency situations often involve one or more common areas of the center—whether the emergency begins in a common area, or the evacuation or gathering process involves a common area inside or outside of the day care or play school. While a day care's clear goal is to prevent emergencies and crisis from occurring, the reality is that unpredictable, unplanned, or uncontrollable crisis may occur, and centers must be prepared for the same. The management needs to identify possible emergency or crisis situations (e.g., extreme weather conditions or an earthquake, a student or faculty member's injury, etc.), and complete the analyses and preparations that establish the procedures, training, and resources necessary to end and stabilize such situations. They also need to prepare the crisis response services, supports, and strategies required to address the security, emotional, and behavioral needs of those directly or indirectly involved or impacted by the crisis once it is over.
Safety Equipment that Day cares & Play Schools should use:
* Finger & Door Guards
* Door blocks
* Corner Guards
* Window Guards
* Fire Extinguishers & Fire Blankets
* Safety Sockets
School Safety is vital and when choosing a day-care or a play-school for our children, we parents consider a number of factors, including cost, location, curriculum, hours of operation but we should also not forget the most important factor -the environment. The environment of a day care should be completely safe and secure with all the necessary checks in place so that untoward incidents can be avoided or minimized. Schools should also conduct regular safety audits so that they can get a clear picture of the areas that need to improve and work on the same immediately. Parents should also speak with the authorities and ensure that the safety audit is conducted if it is not happening already. We rely on day care centers and play schools to take care of our children while they are away from us and it is imperative for these schools to provide the best to them; Safety being of utmost importance. Let's work together in creating a safe and secure environment for our children both at home and school because Safety is a Necessity and not an Option.