Taking your child to nursery for the first time can be a stressful experience for any parent. When trying to find a nursery, health and safety procedures should be of paramount importance. Birmingham based Sandhills Day Nursery, has given us a guide on what policies should be in place and why.
All policies and procedures should be on display at all times at any nursery. If they are not it is vital that you approach a member of staff and ask to see them. A good nursery will send you a copy of the health and safety procedures and Ofsted report when your child enrols and inform you if there are any changes made.
The nursery has a responsibility to be monitoring your child at all times whilst in their care. All staff members should be trained properly and be aware of the security procedures when it comes to children entering and leaving the building. Only approved adults should be allowed to pick a child up from the centre. Doors and windows should be alarmed and these alarms should be activated when all the children have arrived in the building to stop children accidentally opening them.
If the children are going to leave the building at any time, they should ask for your permission prior to the outing. If the outing requires going to an area with a busy road then the staff ratio should be one staff member to any child. The best way to check the security is to go into the building and check for any unmonitored access points. If any of these details are missing from their security procedures then we feel it is best to approach the nursery and ask what the protocol is.
Children have accidents sometimes. So it is important that a nursery has policies in place to make you feel comfortable that they can deal with an incident. The nursery should always have a qualified first aider as a carer, and this person should also know which other staff are first aiders. It should be stipulated in the procedure that they create an accident book to document any incidents (minor or otherwise.) The most senior member of staff and you (the parent) should also be informed immediately.
First Aid Box
There should be first aid boxes placed around the building in obvious spots. Staff should be well versed in where first aid kits are kept. Each box should contain a minimum of disposable glove, sterile dressings, bandages, blunt scissors, tape and plasters. The kits should be serviced regularly to make sure there are no components missing. These boxes should not contain any medication including aspirin or paracetamol. Children may need to take medication into the nursery and this should be stored in a high, locked cupboard.
Parents should be encouraged to keep their child at home if they believe their child has an infection. This may be annoying when you have to take time off work but it helps cut down illness rates long term. You should also be encouraged to describe the nature of the infection so other children can be monitored for symptoms. Vomiting and diarrhoea takes around 48 hours to clear the system before it is safe to take a child back into the nursery. Hand washing signs should be prominent in all the toilets to encourage children to get into this practice.
All day nursery toys and equipment should be regularly checked and upgraded to make sure that they are still safe to use. This includes electronic equipment, such as fires and heaters, all wires should be out of the way to prevent tripping and electrocution. Toys such as dressing up clothes, paint palettes and play dough should be clean and fresh. Large pieces of furniture must be completely stable and nothing should be stacked too high. There should be enough room for children to play and roam freely without fear of them knocking into things. Access to areas such as kitchens or cleaning cupboards should be completely out of bounds. When parents come to visit the nursery, bags should not be left around incase they contain lighters or pills.
Fire instructions should be on or near every door of the building. The children should be trained by staff of fire drill procedures. Fire doors should be clearly marked and no toys or furniture should be in front of them. It is also important to check the nursery creates a register every day so they know exactly what children are under their care. Staff should be aware of and trained to use all fire extinguishers and blankets in the building.
Hopefully this has given you an insight on just how much care and attention goes into health and safety at a good nursery. If you are looking for a nursery in the Birmingham area contact Sandhills Day Nursery today.