A Day in A Life – The Adult’s Perspective: [A Learning Activity]

Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers frequently encounter injury hazards. Head Start managers can use this learning activity to clarify the important roles adults play as protectors and role models in preventing childhood injury.

The following is an excerpt from Safety First: Preventing & Managing Childhood Injuries.

For This Activity You Will Need
Trainer Preparation Note
Points to Consider
Key to Activity: Injury Hazards - For Trainer Only

Purpose: This activity helps participants clarify adults' roles in preventing childhood injury. (This activity is a continuation of …A Day in A Life - The Child's Perspective: [A Learning Activity].)

For this activity you will need:

Coach Preparation Note:
Attach each of the Handouts …: An Infant's Day-Suzie, A Toddler's Day-Henry, and A Preschooler's Day-Rickie to the corresponding copy of three copies completed by each participant in …A Day in A Life-The Child's Perspective: [A Learning Activity]

Step 1: Explain to participants that this activity will explore adults' roles in preventing childhood injuries. To prevent children's injuries, adults must:

  • understand children's development and the hazards they face; and
  • follow safety practices as protector, role model, and teacher.

Step 2: Ask participants: What are some examples of ways in which adults prevent children's injuries by being...

  • protectors of children?
  • role models for children?
  • teachers of children?

Step 3: Distribute to participants Handouts: An Infant's Day-Suzie, A Toddler's Day-Henry, and A Preschooler's Day-Rickie, with the corresponding Handout: Injury Hazards attached that were completed by participants in A Day in A Life-A Child's Perspective: [A Learning Activity.]

Step 4: Beginning with the first copy of Handout: Injury Hazards attached to Handout: An Infant's Day-Suzie, for each of the “Causes of Injury” and “Type of Injury” identified, write in the “Prevention Measures” column strategies to prevent injury to the child. For example:

Location/Activity: Kitchen/Eating Area

Cause of Injury

  • High Chair

Type of Injury

  • fall

Prevention Measures

  • use high chair with secure base
  • use safety strap
  • sit down to eat with baby
  • don't let baby stand

In developing prevention strategies, consider adults' roles as protectors, role models, and teachers. Allow 10-15 minutes for each story.

Repeat with the second copy of Handout for Henry the Toddler and the third copy of Handout for Rickie the Preschooler. Refer to the Key to Activity: Injury Hazards as a guide.

Step 5: Return to Handout: An Infant's Day-Suzie. Have a participant begin to read the story from the child's perspective. Stop reading at every point in the story that the child approaches an injury hazard, and have another participant use Handout: Injury Hazards as a guide to interject the adult's perspective-what adults need to do to prevent Suzie's injury.

For example:

  • “I'm Suzie...I've been sleeping in the crib...” (One participant to read from the child's perspective)
  • “...That's a newer crib that meets safety recommendations of narrower slats that I can't stick my head through.” (Another participant to interject from the adult's perspective)

Repeat for the stories of Henry and Rickie (Handouts: A Toddler's Day and A Preschooler's Day).

Step 6: Ask participants:

  • How did it feel to be the adults (parents, grandparents, older siblings, Head Start teachers) in each child's life?
  • What are some injury prevention-measures that are specific to a particular developmental stage?
  • What are some similar injury-prevention measures across all of the developmental stages?
  • What are some ways to help adults in their roles in preventing children's injuries?

Points to Consider:

  • Caregivers of children help prevent injuries among children through their roles as protectors, role models and teachers.
  • Prevention measures must be tailored to each child's developmental stage, capabilities, temperament, and interests.
  • Across all ages and developmental stages, common measures for preventing childhood injury include:
    • setting up and maintaining a safe environment;
    • establishing and teaching children the safety rules;
    • supervising children closely;
    • enforcing the safety rules.
  • Adults who supervise children must be constantly aware of the hazards children face and constantly taking measures to prevent them from being injured. This can be stressful. Some strategies to reduce the stress of preventing injuries include:
    • ensuring that the environment is developmentally-appropriate and as safe as possible;
    • enlisting the help of other adults in supervising the children; and
    • clarifying who is responsible during transitions between activities.

Key to Activity: Injury Hazards - For Trainer Only

Child: Suzie            Development Stage: Infant

Location/Activity Cause of Injury Type of Injury Prevention Measures
  • old crib with wide slats
  • window shade cord
  • paint chips
  • hood with drawstring
  • strangulation
  • strangulation
  • lead poisoning
  • strangulation
  • newer crib with narrow slats
  • move crib away from window, tie up cords
  • re-paint walls with lead-free paint
  • remove drawstring
Bathroom/Diapering Area
  • diaper table
  • baby powder
  • latex gloves
  • fall
  • choking
  • choking
  • keep secure on table
  • don't give baby powder
  • don't give latex gloves
Kitchen/Eating Area
  • high chair
  • hot milk
  • feeding table
  • cleaning fluids in cabinet under sink
  • meat chunks
  • fall
  • burn
  • scratches
  • poisoning
  • choking
  • use safety strap, no standing
  • warm bottle under tap or in pot, shake well
  • supervise
  • safety lock on cabinet
  • cut meat in small pieces or puree
  • pickup truck
  • double parking
  • car crash
  • car/pedestrian injury
  • use car seat and seat belts
  • park at curb or parking lot
Play Activities at Head Start and at Home
  • painted blocks
  • electric cord
  • earrings, necklace
  • infant walker
  • candy
  • lead poisoning
  • electrocution
  • choking
  • fall, crushed fingers
  • choking
  • lead-free or plastic blocks
  • supervise, get cord out of reach
  • don't wear dangling jewelry
  • supervise, no infant walker
  • no candy

Key to Activity: Injury Hazards - For Trainer Only

Child: Henry            Development Stage: Toddler

Location/Activity Cause of Injury Type of Injury Prevention Measures
Bedroom/Nap room
  • vitamins, cigarettes
  • gun
  • chair to dresser
  • poisoning
  • shooting
  • fall
  • vitamins, cigarettes out of reach
  • gun and ammunition separate, locked up, and out of reach
  • clothes at child's level
Bathroom/Diapering Area
  • potty "accident"
  • pushing at sink
  • fall, child abuse
  • fall
  • supervise, parent education or developmentally appropriate expectations and discipline
  • supervise, "no pushing" rules
Kitchen/Eating Area
  • steam kettle, stove
  • hot oatmeal
  • jumping when eating carrots and dinner
  • burn
  • burn
  • fall, choking
  • supervise, pot on back burner
  • cool down, test temperature
  • eat sitting down
  • running across street
  • criminal activity
  • car/pedestrian crash
  • shooting
  • use crosswalk
  • find safer route, advocate for community safety
Play Activities at Head Start and at Home
  • pushing each other
  • marble
  • television violence
  • throwing sand
  • fall
  • choking
  • violence
  • eye injury
  • supervise, structured activities, "no pushing" rules
  • supervise, age-appropriate toys
  • no violent television, age-appropriate activities
  • more shovels, "no throwing sand" rule

Key to Activity : Injury Hazards - For Trainer Only

Child: Rickie        Development Stage: Preschooler

Location/Activity Cause of Injury Type of Injury Prevention Measures
Bedroom/Nap room
  • paint chips
  • lead poisoning
  • paint walls
Bathroom/Diapering Area      
Kitchen/Eating Area
  • eating clay, sand, plants
  • eating dinner without washing hands
  • poisoning, infectious disease
  • poisoning, infectious disease
  • supervise, check for nutritional deficiency, nontoxic plants
  • wash hands before meals
Play Activities at Head Start and at Home
  • jumping off swings onto hard, dirt surface
  • high climbing structure
  • diving down slide
  • carpentry
  • care by 8-year-old
  • barefoot outdoors
  • farm equipment, tools, nails, chemicals
  • irrigation ditch, drainage pipes
  • fall
  • fall
  • fall
  • hand injury
  • any type of injury
  • puncture wound
  • crushing, punctures, amputation, poisoning
  • drowning, animal/snake bite
  • supervise, "no jumping" rules, proper absorbent surface under swings
  • climbing structure lower than six feet
  • supervise "no diving" rules
  • supervise "proper hammering" rules
  • adult supervision after school
  • wear shoes outdoors
  • lock shed
  • safer play area

See also:
     A Day in a Life – A Child’s Perspective: [ Learning Activity]

A Day in A Life – The Adult’s Perspective: [A Learning Activity]. Safety First: Preventing & Managing Childhood Injuries. Training Guide to the Head Start Learning Community. HHS/ACF/OHS/NCH. 1996. English.

Last Reviewed: June 2010

Last Updated: August 26, 2015