Ensure the area in or outdoors is free of any hazards or risks and is safe for CYP to work or play in safely. There should be adequate space for the number of people using it to move round comfortably and safely. Equipment should be stored safely storage should be labelled clearly. Furniture should be appropriate size for age of CYP using it. Lighting and noise should be taken into account and specific risks to individuals as in pregnancy, impaired sight or hearing, disabled, and CYP with special educational needs. We have a duty of care towards all the CYP in our care. The outdoor environment has some different needs like secure boundaries, being regularly inspected. The area should be checked for litter broken glass or animal droppings. Ensure any plants bushes or trees are safe no thorns or nettles and no poisonous or irritant leaves, berries, or flowers. Safety rules should be displayed and explained to the CYP also making sure they have a clear understanding of how to use any toys or equipment safely.
Areas that include ponds, pools and sandpits etc should be covered when not in use. Be aware of lines of responsibility for checking the learning environment for risks and hazards. Your health and safety officer should answer any queries you have. There should be the correct ratio of adults to children with suitable training and safety clearance. In both these environments and off-site visits everyone should be aware of what to do in case of: emergencies, fire alarms, incidents, accidents or illness. Be aware of possible signs and indicators of child abuse: physical, emotional, sexual abuse, bullying and harassment , neglect and failure to thrive not based on illness. The signs could be: behavioural changes such as regression, withdrawal, excessive attention seeking, aggression and negative behaviour. Physical indicators such as unlikely bruising, burns, marks, genital irritation or damage, hunger , being dirty, lack of health care.
In school we have notices about certain children whom either have allergies, specific illnesses that require specialised medication or immediate contacting of emergency services, they have a picture of the child and detailed instructions of what to do in an emergency. All incidents and accidents no matter how minor are recorded in detail in our first aid book, anything more serious has to be recorded on special incident sheets along with any witness statements. We have regular fire drill practices. There are security locks on the main exits that can only be opened with a swipe card that only members of staff have. If someone should get through this system and are unknown to staff they will be challenged by any member of staff within the school and asked to leave.
All the CYP’s are regularly reminded of stranger danger and what to do if they should be approached by a stranger. The gates are locked to the entrance of the school at starting and leaving times for the CYP’s to ensure there is no danger from cars or lorries driving on and off site. CYP are regularly reminded of hygiene issues like washing hands after using the toilet or at lunch times before eating their food, there are also posters to remind them on a daily basis too.
Courtney from Study Moose
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