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Providing a Safe Environment Indoors and Outdoors
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Providing a Safe Environment Indoors and Outdoors

Views: 12     Author: 翁梦云     Publish Time: 2018-12-20      Origin: Site

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The following list presents some characteristics of safe learning environments:

  • Low, open shelving will promote independence and prevent toys from falling on children.

  • Labeled shelves will encourage children to clean up after themselves, which will in turn prevent abandoned toys from becoming tripping hazards.

  • Clearly defined interest areas will promote engagement and create clear traffic patterns that prevent running and collisions.

  • A variety of materials will keep children engaged, rather than spending time on inappropriate running, jumping, or climbing.

See Learning Environments course for more information.

Finally, we must consider the condition of the materials in the environment indoors and outdoors. “Caring for Our Children” suggests looking for these issues and correcting them before children are permitted to play:

  1. Missing or broken parts

  2. Protrusion of nuts and bolts

  3. Rust and chipping or peeling paint

  4. Sharp edges, splinters, and rough surfaces

  5. Stability of handholds

  6. Visible cracks

  7. Stability of non-anchored large play equipment (e.g., playhouses)

  8. Wear and deterioration

  9. Broken or worn electrical fixtures or cords

In many settings, your playground may be used by the community at night, or perhaps your program shares a community park. Even if your playground is protected by a fence, it is still possible that hazardous materials could find their way onto the playground. Before you take children outside, you must be vigilant about inspecting the playground each day. Look for:

  1. Debris like glass, cigarette butts, litter, building supplies

  2. Animal excrement and other foreign material

  3. Mulch that is spread too thin

  4. Standing water, ice, or snow

  5. Surfaces that are too hot or cold for children to touch safely

  6. Natural objects that might cause harm: sharp rocks, stumps, roots, branches

  7. Unsafe insects: anthills, beehives, or wasp nests

  8. Ditches, holes, wells, traps

  9. Exposed power lines or utility equipment

Remember to check the temperature of play surfaces. Metal or plastic slides, benches, and poured concrete surfaces can get very hot and very cold. Inspect surfaces for cracks caused by temperature changes or water damage.

Understanding the importance of keeping children safe and knowing what safe environments look like are the first steps to creating a safe space for children to learn. It is up to you to make sure your environment is safe. There are several things you can do to keep children safe before they arrive and while they are present.

Before Children Arrive

You should begin each day by carefully inspecting indoor and outdoor play areas and equipment. This will help you prevent injuries and accidents. The next lesson on Safe Toys and Materials includes more information about safety checks.

When Children are Present

Constant supervision is the best tool for preventing injury. Preschool children are active and curious, but situations can become unsafe very quickly. Active supervision is key to keeping children safe. Active supervision involves scanning, predicting and assessing. This involves moving through the indoor or outdoor space, scanning children and the environment for hazards, predicting potential hazards and making necessary changes to the environment. Safe equipment and play space is important, but nothing replaces active supervision. As a responsible caregiver, you should ensure that:

  • Spills are cleaned up immediately: Store towels near the art and water play areas to facilitate clean up.

  • Children are encouraged to clean up after themselves: Before moving onto a new area, teach children to clean up the toys they were playing with. This will prevent falls and tripping hazards.

  • Spaces are clearly defined for play materials: Clearly mark areas where children may build with blocks or spread out dramatic play props. Teach children to respect these boundaries. Also, work with children to establish class guidelines for how tall structures may be.

Although you can never prevent all accidents, taking these simple steps will help minimize serious risks to children.

Completing this Course

For more information on what to expect in this course and a list of the accompanying Learn, Explore and Apply resources and activities offered throughout the lessons, visit the Preschool Safe Environments Course Guide

Please note the References & Resources section at the end of each lesson outlines reference sources and resources to find additional information on the topics covered. As you complete lessons, you are not expected to review all the online references available. However, you are welcome to explore the resources further if you have interest, or at the request of your trainer, coach, or administrator.


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