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Understand potential hazards in health and social care Essay


The setting I have chosen is a public park in which there are young children playing around who are not yet fully aware of dangers which may be surrounding them or what harm they could cause. There may be elderly people out taking a walk or just enjoying the weather and having no idea of the danger they could possibly be in. There may also be pets running around freely inviting stray animals to ponder in, playing with the children, chasing people etc… There may also be other people lurking around who choose to be bad influences on younger children. Hazards:


Children could severely hurt themselves if they fall or trip on hard ground. It could vary from a bruise or cut to a severe head injury. They could fall over objects left on the floor to litter being thrown. The weather could also affect this, as it may have been raining the day before and the grass may still be wet, which could cause the child to slip and fall. This could also occur with adults or elderly as anyone is prone to slip and fall. In the case of an elderly person then they are more likely to break a bone as they are weaker and their bones are brittle. Adults would have more impact as they would have a longer distance to fall and would most likely have a heavier weight.


Wandering animals can be a huge risk to others in the park as they can cause both physical and mental harm e.g., dogs. They may harm children if the children are running around and the dog assumes this is a game and leaps on the child then the child could be hurt. If the dog also begins running around and chasing the children then the children this may cause psychological damage and scar the child for life as they may now develop a fear or phobia. Older people could also be harmed as they may be just sat on a bench and a stray animal could just violently maul them. Another problem dogs can cause it by leaving their faeces around the park. Damage from faeces is more common in young children this is most likely due to the fact that they are less aware of correct hygiene procedure than older children or adults.

Their immune system is also weaker than that of adults, which puts them at more risk of developing an illness. Dog faeces are also a main danger as they contain the eggs of the Toxocara Canis. This is a roundworm which lives harmlessly in dogs but is dangerous for humans. A dog can pass 15,000 eggs in just one gram of faeces. When a large number of eggs hatch inside the body the larvae often lead to extreme fever and illness. This happens because the human body rejects them and tries to pass them through the liver. However the biggest danger is that if a single larva invades one of the body’s most delicate structures, such as the retina, severe damage can occur, leading to severe visual impairment or total blindness.


There is a lot of danger linked with open water e.g., ponds. There are very common hazards e.g., drowning. With children playing around carelessly it is likely they will be pushing and shoving each other about which could result in a child being pushed into the pond and drowning. Another consequence could be the build up of bacteria which could soon become a breeding ground this is more likely with geese and ducks around as this is an invitation for more dangerous bacteria to gather. Another hazard could be slipping into the water which may be deeper than expected. This hazard could occur with all age groups.

Bad Influences

Children pick up nasty habits very easily; they could pick these up from older children in the park. Some of these habits could include smoking, swearing and vandalising. Seeing older people take part in such acts could influence the children into copying these acts. This would make the children act in a wrong way. They could also share these new discoveries with their friends, this will soon become common and children will find behaving this way to be normal. This would influence them in childhood therefore growing up they will find this normal and continue this behaviour.


Children tend to be hyperactive and can hurt themselves whilst playing in the park. They could be running around on the equipment and fall or slip. This could do some serious damage to them as it could involve them breaking their bones or causing brain damage. They could also fall off the equipment and land on the hard floor or perhaps on another child passing through. The weather could also affect the safety of the children as it may have been raining and the equipment may still be wet and slippery. Another hazard could be letting pets up onto the equipment, this can cause germs to spread as children will be holding onto the bars or crawling around and they may also begin eating with the same hands. Unsupervised children could be at more risk of harming themselves compared to supervised children, they will be protected by their parents or guardians whilst playing.

Gate left open children may escape onto roads

Children must be supervised at all times and must not be left alone as they could begin wandering out of the gates. They could escape onto main roads and harm themselves or perhaps get lost or taken. It is essential to pay full attention to children as they are innocent and naive. They put themselves in troubled situations sometimes; this is why they need to be watched continuously.

Picking up litter

Children are innocent and pick up almost anything e.g., if they see cans and bottles around then they could cut themselves or drink something harmful or dirty. They could also become ill for putting rubbish into their mouths or for eating with the same hands used to pick the rubbish up without washing them.

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