Keeping kids safe
Keeping kids safe
Children enjoy a range of indoors and outdoor activities. Here are a few reminders to ensure safety considerations are addressed and your policies and procedures are relevant and up to date.
Kids love water-based activities, particularly when it's hot. However, where children have access to any body of water, extra vigilance is vital. This includes, but is not limited to, pools, dams, rivers, creeks or other unfenced waterways, as well as baths, wading pools and ponds.
Ensure children are closely supervised by a responsible adult at all times. If you're planning a water-based activity, as well as considering the specific needs of all participants, have a risk assessment completed and a response plan ready.
Heat exposure is another big consideration, particularly for children on play equipment or travelling in vehicles.
Shellye Hanson, Director of Statewide Operations, notes, "It's important to be vigilant and never leave children unattended in buses or cars, particularly during drop-off and pick-up times."
Appropriate clothing, broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, a sun-safe hat with a broad brim and/or a back flap and having enough shade are all important. Ensure SunSmart protocols are observed and that children have enough water to drink throughout the day.
For time spent indoors, ventilation, particularly cross ventilation, is vital. Allowing fresh air to circulate not only helps keep kids cool and happy but prevents infection from spreading.
This is backed up by research: the World Health Organisation confirms that natural ventilation – opening windows and doors for some time each day to allow fresh air into rooms – is an important part of infection control, especially respiratory infections.
Lastly, don't forget hygiene – heat facilitates the spread of germs, making strong hygiene practices more important over the warmer months. Regular and thorough hand washing by adults and children is still the most effective way to keep germs at bay but is too often rushed or insufficient.
So remember, be smart, stay safe and have fun.