Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
All employers have legal responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Employers must meet certain rules to make sure everyone in that place of work is safe. It also means employees have to be careful that there are no risks of injury to anyone. In a childcare setting the Health and Safety Act states “buildings should be in good condition and designed with the safety of users in mind, buildings and surroundings should be clean and safe and equipment must be safely used and stored. ” As practitoners, everyone in the childcare setting must know what their health and safety policies in their settings are.
This act helps maintain healthy, safe and secure environments as it safeguards both the children and the adults working with them, this is done as the employers and employees have to ensure the workplace is safe and appropriate information such as training and supervision should be made available. In my setting, to follow this act, we ensure that all children in our building are safe and have a secure environment, to do this we have certain security arrangements in place, we have two mechanical doors which can only be opened from the inside of the building and which has an alarm system which sounds whenever the door opens.
We also have a policy about getting information from the parents on who can and will collect the child, this is done before the child officially starts nursery, our nursery staff get pictures and names of people who will collect the child. Recording and reporting accidents and ill health at work is a legal requirement under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). RIDDOR places a legal duty on employers, self-employed people and people in control of premises.
These people who are responsible for this must record and report certain incidents, injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences involving employees, self-employed workers and members of the public. The information provided through recording and reporting enables the enforcing authorities to identify where and how risks arise, and to investigate serious accidents. With this information, the enforcing authorities are able to help and provide advice on how to reduce injury, and ill health in the workplace.
Such surveillance data can also be used to put forward an evidence-based justification for the introduction of new legislation and/or guidance. Near misses, although not part of the legal duties mentioned above, it is also good practice to record non-reportable ‘near-miss’ incidents, workplace accidents and occurrences where no-one has actually been hurt or become ill, but where the consequences could have been serious for workers. In this way, it is possible to learn from such incidents so that workers are protected from harm.
Details of all reportable incidents, injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences must be recorded, including the date when the report is made, the method of reporting, the date, time and place of the event, personal details of those involved, a brief description of the nature of the event or disease. Task two E2&D2 : The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) defines a head injury as any trauma to the head other than shallow injuries on the surface of the face.
For most people, a head injury is usually minor and will not result in any permanent damage. The symptoms are usually mild and short lived. In my setting the procedure for dealing with a child with a bump on the head is that the nursery nurses get an ice pack and place it on the forehead. They then report what has happened to the nearest supervisor and they monitor the child afterwards. They also take the child’s temperature and they redo this every 15 minutes.
To prevent bumps on the head is hard with small children as they are at the height where it is easy to hit their heads on things. But it can be prevented to a certain extentent, by having corner covers on tables, helmets while on bikes, ensuring the toys are age appropriate and supervision is always happening while the children play. Asthma affects the airways, the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs (known as the bronchi). If a child has asthma, the airways of their lungs are more sensitive than normal.
When your child comes into contact with something that irritates their lungs, known as a trigger, their airways become narrow, the lining becomes inflamed, the muscles around them tighten, and there is an increase in the production of sticky mucus or phlegm. This makes it difficult to breathe and causes wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and can make the chest feel tight. Asthma medicines are usually given by inhalers. These are devices that deliver the drug directly into the airways through your child’s mouth when your child breathes in.
Inhaling a drug is an effective way of taking an asthma medicine as it goes straight to the lungs, with very little ending up elsewhere in the body. This means a smaller dose can be taken with fewer side effects. Asthma medicines are usually given by inhalers. These are devices that deliver the drug directly into the airways through your child’s mouth when your child breathes in. Inhaling a drug is an effective way of taking an asthma medicine as it goes straight to the lungs, with very little ending up elsewhere in the body.
This means a smaller dose can be taken with fewer side effects. Some people, and most young children, find using inhalers difficult. A spacer can help. Spacers are large plastic or metal containers that have a mouthpiece at one end and a hole for the inhaler at the other. The medicine is ‘puffed’ into the spacer by the inhaler and it is then breathed in through the spacer mouthpiece. Children under the age of three have the spacer attached to a facemask rather than a mouthpiece, to make it easier for them to breathe in the medicine.
The procedure in my setting for a child with astma is to prevent the triggers first, such as making sure the room is cleaned properly and avoid the childs tiggers for example, smoke, excersize, dust/pollen or stress and anxiety. Ifafter that the child has an asthma attack its important the staff are trained properly and are aware of the symptoms of an attack, such as weezing and coughing. They need to know how to administrate the medication correctly and report it. In my setting when administrating any type of medication the nursery nurse has to do it infront of a senior member of staff.
Diarrhoea and vomiting are more serious in babies than older children because babies can easily lose too much fluid from their bodies and become dehydrated. They may become lethargic or irritable, have a dry mouth, and have loose, pale or mottled skin; their eyes and fontanelle (the soft spot on the top of their head) may become sunken. If they become dehydrated they may not pass much urine. They may lose their appetite and have cold hands and feet. It may be difficult to tell how much urine they’re passing when they have diarrhoea.
It is important for staff to recognise these signs as they can then ring parents to inform them. In my setting we have to send children who have vomited or have diarrhoea and they have to stay at home for 48 after the last time they have had the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting. This is to avoid infection and cross contamination with staff and other children in the nursery. Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease.
Meningitis and septicaemia can cause symptoms such as a severe headache, vomiting, high fever, stiff neck and sensitivity to light. Many people (but not all) also develop a distinctive skin rash. If you see a red skin rash do the tumbler test, that is If a glass tumbler is pressed firmly against a septicaemia rash, the marks will not fade. You will be able to see the rash through the glass. If this happens get medical advice immediately. It is harder to see on dark skin, so check paler areas. Remember someone who is very ill needs medical help even if they have no rash or a rash that fades.
To promote awareness of meningitis is the first step, there should be posters around the nursery so staff understand and remember the signs and symptoms and also staff should have first aid training so they know how to deal with this kind of emergency. If you think a child has got meningitis the first thing to do is call an ambulance, call the childs parents and then keep the child in a dark room. The benefits and effects this has on children are that they have the freedom in which to develop a responsible independence, and the confidence to take risks and initiate their own play and learning.
They also show many changes in their behaviours, the freedom which they have and the independence that they gain and achieve seems to help build a greater self-belief in their own capabilities, they also seem keen to learn as the curriculum they abide by which is set out differently, interests the children and this then creates the atmosphere that they enjoy and can relax yet also learn. Increasing confidence can also lead to a child’s greater independence and a desire to explore further than before.
Where this creates the potential for danger or harm, either from the surroundings or by taking part in specific activities using tools and materials, the risk is managed rather than avoided altogether. Erin (age 4) gained confidence quickly at Forest School; it was noted that her self-esteem improved and that she was enjoying taking some risks with tool use. As the children gain confidence and become familiar with the woodland, they start to take on challenges. A key feature of Forest School is that by allowing this safe framework for children to make their own discoveries, the setting is flexible enough to be adapted to what interests them.
According to Harris Helm and Gronlund (1999), ‘Young children construct their knowledge best through active, engaged, meaningful experiences that provide interaction with their environments and others’. Thomas and Thompson (2004) strongly suggest that every child should be entitled to outdoor learning. ‘The world beyond the classroom can stimulate, motivate and bring learning to life’ (Department for Education and Skills, 2006). Forest School demonstrates that effective measures can be taken to reduce and manage risk to an acceptable standard Steiner education
Rudolf Steiner was active in the early 1900s but his ideas developed in the period of 1960-90. Although Steiner schools in different countries vary, the basic principles are that learning should be designed to meet the changing needs of children as they develop physically, mentally and emotionally. Education should help a child to fulfil his or her potential but should not push children towards goals that adults or society in general, believe are desirable. Up to the age of 7 years children are encouraged to play, draw, storytelling, being at home, nature study and natural things.
They use activities like baking, gardening, modelling, painting and singing in a carefully controlled situation which creates a challenging environment as the children aren’t used to these activities and they are done to increase children’s the idea of risk and challenge in the children’s day to day life. They don’t teach children younger than 7 years to read and they teach children to write before they learn to read. Even though reading, writing and arithmetic are introduced at a later stage than in other schools in the UK within a very short period of time they are working at the same level as their state school peers.
This has the advantage that the children are more mature when they do start and this generally enables them to learn the basics effortlessly, without stress. “Learning is not driven by testing and effective assessment of pupil progress is achieved mainly through the teacher continuously observing the physical, emotional, social and academic development of each child. ” From age 7 until the age of 14 children will (ideally, although some Steiner schools differ frin country to country, the principles stay the same) have the same class teacher, which gives a real sense of security and continuity.
From the age of 15 onwards pupils are supported by their class sponsor. The Steiner approach tries to engage with children and make sure they are enthusiastic about the work they are doing, because of this, children are able to connect with the work they are doing and inevitably reach their full potential The importance of helping children to manage risk and challenge in their environment It’s important to teach children how to handle situations on their own. Teach them when and how to take risks. Teach them when and how to challenge their environments.
Helping children learn how to deal with risk and challenge is important as life always involves a degree of risk and children need to learn how to cope with this. They need to understand that the world is a dangerous place and care needs to be taken when negotiating their way around it. Practitioners need to let children learn from their mistakes, as the most powerful learning comes from not understand and misjudging the amount of risk involved. . “No environment will ever be 100% safe. Even well-supervised children manage to hurt themselves, often in unpredictable ways”‘ (Lindon, 1999, p9).
They are unlikely to make the same mistake again; children need to experience the consequences of not taking care as well as being told about the possible dangers which could occur. They also need to understand how to deal with mistakes and be able to try again, if a child is “wrapped in cotton wool” their whole lives and unable to take risks and make mistakes, later in life they might be fearful of trying because of the aspect of failing Children who aren’t taught this when young can be affected by this when they get older, they may not be able to make judgements about their own abilities.
This could also turn the other way and make someone become anxious and never take risks in later life. ‘Adults who analyse every situation in terms of what could go wrong, risk creating anxiety in some children and recklessness in others. ‘ : (Lindon, 1999 p10) Also, if the environment becomes un-stimulating children will inevitably become bored and behaviour will decline. ‘Without challenges and risks, children will find play areas uninteresting or use them in inappropriate ways, which become dangerous. ‘ (Bilton, 2005, p73)
Learning to cope with risk and to accept challenges is a vital part of human development and learning. Those who have been denied this learning will not have the ability to cope with, and retain control of, their lives. Early years practitioners have a duty to offer children the chance to engage with risk and challenge within a structured and managed situation, which promotes a ‘have a go’ attitude, and to help others to understand how competent young children can be and how well they respond to being trusted with responsibility.
Explanation of the ways that meeting the care needs of children can affect practitioners and possible sources of support for practitioners Working with children can be a hard and demanding job. It is also a rewarding one. Sometimes meeting the care needs of children can be emotionally draining, especially in situations when a child’s behaviour needs to be managed. It is important to recognize if you or other people who are working with children are finding it stressful.
This is important as all children have the right to be treated professionally and appropriately regardless of their behaviour or needs. In some situations all that is needed is a 5 minute break away from the child as this will provide the opportunity for reflection. Other situations might need advice and guidance, from you co-workers, line manager or senior members of staff When you start to feel stressed the symptoms of it are getting agitated or snappy, rapid heartbeat or headaches/aches and pains.
There are many things you can do to relieve some of your stress, such as; time management, if you can manage when/what you do you can find it’s not as bad as you thought and it can get done easier and with less stress, sharing responsibilities with your co-workers, speaking to your co-workers, counsellors or other professionals about how your feeling as someone might have gone through it and know how to help and also being able to relax and having that balance of work/home life, relaxing when you’re not at work can make your work better.
Working with children, you may show signs of depression, this is important to not ignore. This is feeling great sadness, negative emotions, trying not to show them to others, paranoia and extreme tiredness. There is lots of support out there, from friends and family, to doctors counselling and your co-workers at work. Lastly, anxiety is a big issue. It can stem from depression and stress and can be very damaging to people. It is excessive worry which is out of proportion, it can be to do with social situations and it can cause a lot of problems for people.
There is cognitive behaviour therapy which helps people suffering with anxiety to know when they start to feel anxious to stop and think of something else. There is also counselling and just talking to people about your worries and problems. When you’re struggling with work, you can get help and support from you’re team, they will understand how your feeling as they most probably feel it too, working with children can be frustrating, stressful and challenging. But getting support and help will help you in order to change perception of this and realise that it can also be enjoyable and motivating.