Tips for Keeping Children Safe: A Developmental Guide - Preschoolers

By the time they are preschool-aged, children are more independent in their play and their ability to meet their own needs. They focus on learning rules and routines to know what is safe and appropriate. Their constant dialogue with peers and caregivers helps them to form specific ideas about what is safe and why.

Tips for Keeping Children Safe: A Developmental Guide - Toddlers

The toddler years are a time when children are building skills in all areas. They remember what they learn and share it with others. They understand things more deeply, make choices, and engage with others in new ways. The changes in their physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development help them to build new skills that prepare them for school and later learning.

Virtual Early Education Center (VEEC)

The Virtual Early Education Center (VEEC) is an online tool for early care and education (ECE) programs, including Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care. It is designed to have the look and feel of an actual ECE center. Visitors can move from room to room within the VEEC to find information on health and safety practices and useful resources. Use it to explore resources and information regarding Head Start Program Performance Standards and Caring for Our Children (CFOC). Learn more about health-focused ECE and best practices.

Sun Safety Including Sunscreen

Caregivers/teachers should ensure sun safety for themselves and children under their supervision by keeping infants younger than six months out of direct sunlight, limiting sun exposure when ultraviolet rays are strongest and applying sunscreen with written permission of parents/guardians. Manufacturer instructions should be followed.

Culture of Safety: Part 1

It's important to understand that injuries are not accidents. Most injuries are predictable and can be avoided. This Health Chat is intended to introduce Head Start and Early Head Start staff to safety and injury prevention strategies and resources. Presenters focus on how to make your program an agent for change using the first four actions in "10 Actions to Create a Culture of Safety" as a guide.

Strangulation Hazards

Strings and cords long enough to encircle a child's neck, such as those on toys and window coverings, should not be accessible to children in early care and education programs.

Authorized Persons to Pick Up Child

Children may only be released to adults authorized by parents or legal guardians whose identity has been verified by photo identification. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons authorized to pick up child should be obtained during the enrollment process and regularly reviewed, along with clarification/documentation of any custody issues/court orders. The legal guardian(s) of the child should be established and documented at this time.

Use and Storage of Toxic Substances

All toxic substances should be inaccessible to children and should not be used when children are present. Toxic substances should be used as recommended by the manufacturer and stored in the original labeled containers. The telephone number for the poison control center should be posted and readily accessible in emergency situations.

Availability of Drinking Water

Clean, sanitary drinking water should be readily accessible in indoor and outdoor areas, throughout the day. On hot days, infants receiving human milk in a bottle may be given additional human milk, and those receiving formula mixed with water may be given additional formula mixed with water.  Infants should not be given water, especially in the first six months of life.