Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety
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1.1 Describe the factors to take into account when planning and safe indoor and outdoor environment and services. Common sense is one of the most important qualities you need when providing play areas and activities that are healthy and safe for children and young people. Factors to consider include:
Each young child and young person is unique and different individual, meaning that each will have differing needs, abilities and level of understanding. This is influenced by the age and stage of development each child has reached. If you care for children of mixed age range you may need to section of certain areas or have activities. This would prevent, for example, a child who is crawling from getting access to a climbing frame or unsupervised water-play.
Some children and young people have special needs related to a physical condition, disability, sensory impairment or a learning difficulty. Keeping these children safe while providing them with equal opportunities to play, explore and be active is an additional challenge that requires careful thought. You may need to adapt play equipment or find suitable enabling or protective aids. Consider also how to make sure children understand safety instructions and can follow them sufficiently Specific risks
There may be particular risks to bear in mind. For example, if you are working with colleague who is pregnant, or individuals with a sensory impairment, you will to make allowances. There may also be specific risks associated with particular activities, so you have to make sure to use the relevant safety equipment and give appropriate safety instructions in preparation. For example, if you are starting a baking session, don’t begin without making sure that aprons and oven gloves are available, that children know how who may use matches and how to use them safely, that only open the oven when an adult is present, and understand the importance of personal hygiene while cooking 1.2 Explain how health and safety is monitored and maintained and how people in your work setting are aware of risk and hazards and encouraged to work safely All care settings must have systems in place so that each aspect of health and safety concerning the workplace and practice are checked regularly.
These should be itemised as part of a health and safety policy and include details about how often the checks should take place, who should make the checks and how information must be recorded and reported. Every member of staff has a right to have their health and safety protected and holds an equal responsibility to protect the health and safety of others. This includes the children and young people in your care, their families, your colleagues, visiting practitioners and other visitors. For example, a tradesperson such as an electrician might need to do repair or maintenance work during day of a playgroup. During the electrician’s visit children need to be kept safe from dangers such as tools and exposure to electricity, and the electrician must be kept safe from accidents and incidents, such as falling over a dropped toy or slipping in split juice. 1.3. Identify sources of current guidance for planning healthy and safe environments and services. There are a number of different sources of information available to you. Your place of work and your local library are good starting points, and a great deal of information can be found on the internet.
People colleagues – some of your colleagues may have specialist knowledge or wealth of experience from which you can benefit from visiting practitioners – people who practice in other professions but come to your workplace as part of the service provision may be able to give you different insights
legislation documents explain ways in which health and safety relates to your work and your work role Policies describe under-running principles for safe working. There will be specific health and safety policy, as well as other related policies, such as safeguarding and moving and handling procedures set detailed instructions about what must happen in particular circumstances, such as a fire alarm sounding, or if a building is to be evacuated, or in a event of a child or young person going missing other professions such as police, social services or healthcare can be contacted
by letter to request specific relevant information Public information
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness. Its role is enforce legislation, provide information and advice and run an advocacy service that supports individuals who have been injured at work to go through a complaints procedure British Safety Council (BSC) is a UK charity offering information and guidance on health, safety and environmental Health Protection Agency (HPA) is an independent UK organisation set up protect up to protect the public from infectious disease and environmental hazards. It others advice and information.
1.4 Explain how current health and safety legislation, policies and procedures are implemented in own work setting or service. Within my work setting we follow The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It is the employer’s duty to put policies and procedures into place to ensure that the setting is meeting the standards of The Health and Safety at Work Act and the employee’s duty to make sure these are followed. We follow this act by making sure that the building and environment is well maintained, clean and safe. Equipment is stored properly and is regularly checked to ensure it is safe. Hazardous materials and equipment is locked away and we follow the COSHH act. We have systems in place to ensure the safety of children at all times i.e. fire procedure, accident and illness procedure. We provide adequate facilities to suit the needs and abilities of all children and young people and all members of staff are qualified, CRB checked and given regular training. Gloves and aprons are worn at all times when dealing with bodily fluids to prevent cross-infection. All accidents and incidents are recorded are reported to the correct person. Practitioners are first aid qualified and are able to deal with minor injuries within the setting.
First aid boxes and fire extinguishers are in every room along with a fire whistle to alert other rooms of a fire. We have a health and safety officer who oversees the running of the setting and ensures that risk assessments are regularly carried out and updated. Staff members are given guidance on how to protect themselves throughout day to day activities and also regarding manual handling. Risk assessments also have to be signed by each practitioner otherwise they are void because the practitioner can say that they haven’t read them, maybe attend courses on health and safety, food hygiene, manual handling etc. Staff meetings to update health and safety requirements.
Display the health and safety poster and make sure it is up to date (recently new updated version in our area).
2.3 Undertake a health and safety assessment in own work setting or service illustrating how its implantation will reduce risk A health and safety risk assessment is a careful examination of any hazards or situations that could cause harm to people or damage to buildings or equipment. In carrying risk assessments you have the opportunity to recognise potential risk before harm occurs and to take measures to avoid or minimise the impact. You can carry out informal risk assessments many times, often without thinking such every time you cross the road or drive a car. A formal risk assessment process uses structure to identify and assess the risk and find ways to avoid or reduce it to an acceptable level. The five steps of risk assessment that I undertake are, I:  1. Identify the hazards
2. Decide who might be harmed and how
3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution
4. Record my findings and implement them
5. Review my assessment and update if necessary
2.4 Explain how health and safety risk assessments are monitored and reviewed Risk assessment is an ongoing process that needs continuous review until the risk is over. The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far is reasonably practicable and this means monitoring risk and keeping them under review When you work with children and young people the workplace does not usually stay the same from day to day. Different people are around at different times and each individual will have different needs on different occasions. Also over the weeks, new equipment and new activities will be probably be introduced. This means once for all risk assessment. Regular monitoring and reviewing keeps up with changes, allowing risk assessments to be adjusted and adapted as necessary. When considering how risk assessment might need to changed, I usually think
about: The children and young people taking part
The staff members who are going to be involved
Other people who are around, such as family members, visitors or strangers The weather conditions
Time of day
The previous activity and how it may impact on this one
Any potential hazard that have arisen
I will also ask the opinion and advice of others, who may spot things that I may have overlook, or have a different viewpoint. I will also check what has worked well on other occasions and always learn from previous mistakes.
3.1 Explain why it is important to take a balanced approach to risk management As practitioners, our main concern is to keep children safe from harm. Doing this can be very hard, as at the same time we need to encourage them to experience risk and challenges. If we try to remove all risks from children’s lives we could be risking restricting their learning experiences. It is very important that we teach children skills that will help those managing dangers and risk for themselves. Giving children the opportunity to experience a certain level of risky experiences will help them to develop confidence and competence to make their own balance approach is taken in risk taking, so children are not over protected. Children are allowed to play and explore in safe environment and make right decision about risk with the help of adult. Children need to learn how to control risk themselves; by learning what is a safe boundary are with the help of adult, and showing the children how to recognise the risk and dangers in the safest way possible. When you do any new activity it does create dilemma and conflict at some point between the duty and care and children rights. The activities we do with children, make they are right age for them, and extra care of children during the activity, because if is any things goes wrong then we have to make balance decision between the risk and child right.
3.2 Explain the dilemma between the rights and choices of children and people and health and safety requirements:
Children learn by trying out new experiences and making choices. But they do not have the skills and judgement always to make safe choices. Carers have the responsibility to identify potential hazards in any situation and to judge when it is safe to allow a child to undertake an activity or make a choice. Some children need this freedom to explore risk even more than others. For example a disabled child may be restricted in play at home because of parental concern that the child could hurt themselves. In a well-controlled setting the child can be encouraged to explore and try out new skills.
Children are usually very good at deciding what is safe or not. Using large play equipment is a good example of how children assess and manage risk. In the Outdoor area in Foundation Stage there is a climbing wall where I believe that the children should use with caution but also given the chance to decide whether they can get over without hurting themselves or not, thus they are assessing and managing their own risk. This is a choice that they should make themselves, if they are not happy they will get down. However parents and cares who are being over cautious about children may stop a child trying new things out.
3.3 Give examples from own practice of supporting children or young people to assess and manage risk All children and people are different, but many do exercise a natural caution when trying a new experience or challenge. This can be seen as a self-protective instinct. Risky behaviour often comes about when a child has been over protected and not exposed to any risk, so has not learnt how to asses risk Learning how about risk assessment and risk management is a gradual process in which there should be an increasing number of min-steps along the route to independence. If a child is allowed to get it wrong sometimes, as long as it within a controlled environment where they cannot come too much harm, they will learn from their mistakes. There are a number of ways that I can help to support a child or young person to assess and manage risks safely Be present to physically support a young child physically as they try out new skills, for example, standing behind a very child to give confidence as they negotiate stairs and to be there if they fall Be positive role model, for example holding a safety rail/wearing a bike helmet/using safety belts and explaining why these precautions re necessary.
Be encouraging by praising effort and highlighting competence and achievement Create opportunities to practice decision-making such as when crossing a road, suggested a child tells when they think it is safe to do so Talk over the process of accessing ask as you carrying out task, for example, I’ll use an oven glove so I don’t burn myself on the cooker Allow enough time for process of risk assessment to take properly Support parents to let go as they allow children to more independent choices Increase opportunities for independent decision making for children and young people as they get older
4.1 Explain the policies and procedures of the settings or service in response to accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness In my setting there several policies and procedures that I adhere to which include first aid, fire and accident and emergency. I refer to them at all times.
4.2 Identify the correct procedures or recording and reporting accidents, incidents emergencies and illness As an early years setting we have policies and procedures in place for how we respond to accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness and procedures for reporting and recording
Sickness and illness:
The settings policy for the exclusion of children with sick or infectious children is displayed in our waiting room; these include the period of time we require a child to stay home following a bout of sickness or diarrhoea or other infectious illness such a chicken pox. When infectious illness is discovered, such as head lice, parents are notified by signs being put up. If a child, following consultation with a qualified medical professional has an infectious disease which is on the notifiable diseases list then Ofsted are informed. If a child becomes ill whilst at the setting there parent/carer are called, if they are not available we have a list of authorised emergency contacts who can come and collect the child, until such time the child is cared for in an appropriate area of the setting. If a child becomes unwell and is a cause for serious concern then an ambulance would be called. Certain illnesses as Meningitis need rapid action, there are posters in our waiting room to advice people on what to do should meningitis be suspected, age specific symptom lists and aids to diagnose such as the glass test. We have procedures and specific cleaning kit for use on spilled bodily fluids.
We have a qualified first aider in the setting or on an outing at any one time. The first aiders are listed on a notice for everyone to see should they require help. If a child has an accident at the setting and requires first aid then the relevant qualified person will use the settings first aid kit which is easily accessible and regularly checked. When an accident occurs we fill out or accident book which details; where, when, how and what treatment was administered. The parents/carer is then informed and asked to sign it at the end of the session. If the injury is more severe and requires further medical attention then the parent/carer or authorised is contacted and informed or following signed consent on the settings registration form the child can be taken to the nearest Accident and Emergency unit. We have a duty to inform Ofsted and the Health and Safety Executive of any injury that requires treatment by a medical professional or in the event of the death.
Reviewing the accident book half termly allows us to identify any potential or actual hazards. We have an Evacuation Bag which is taken out with us whenever we go outside of the premises or on off site visits/trips the contents of our evacuation bag include: First Aid Kit, Cold Compress, Accident Book, Fire Alarm Whistle, Individual child’s medication in own container, tissues, anti-bacterial hand gel, mobile phones, daily signing in/out sheets, contact details of parents/carers and emergency contacts.
When an incident occurs at the setting we record it in our Incident book which is kept in the office filing cabinet. An incident could be a break in or theft, vandalism, dangerous occurrence, injury or fatality. In the incident book we record the date and time of the incident, nature of the event, who was affected, what was done about it – or if it was reported to the police, and if so a crime number. Any follow up, or insurance claim made, should also be recorded. We comply with current HSE Regulations and report to the Health and Safety executive.
We have our emergency procedures displayed at specific points around the setting so that no matter where you are there is a copy within easy view such as the toilets or waiting room. These procedures state what to do in the event of a fire and/or evacuation. Our play leader is responsible for the procedures ensuring they are up-to-date and in place. We carry out regular fire drills so that the children know what to expect and also to identify any issues with our procedure. The dates and time taken to carry out fire drills are recorded.