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Health and Safety Policies in a Child Care Center

Make sure sound health- and safety-related policies are followed at any child care facility you are considering for your child. Ask about the following issues, and get written documentation if possible:

  • Is smoking banned from the facility?
  • Do all children and staff have up-to-date immunizations? How are immunizations monitored?
  • What procedures do staff follow when a child becomes ill? What precautions do they take to help prevent the spread of illness? Children should not be allowed in group child care if they are not physically able to participate in activities because of illness or if they are too ill to be taken care of by staff without jeopardizing the safety of other children.1
  • Will staff give prescribed medicine?
  • How are parents notified when a child at the facility has a highly contagious or serious illness?
  • Is play equipment safe?
  • Are toxins out of reach?
  • Are all caregivers trained and committed to placing infants to sleep on their backs (to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome[SIDS])? About 20% of SIDS deaths occur in child care settings.2

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Children in out-of-home child care. In LK Pickering et al., eds., Red Book: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 28th ed., pp. 124-140. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

  2. Moon RY, et al. (2003). Nighttime child care: Inadequate sudden infant death syndrome risk factor knowledge, practice, and policies. Pediatrics, 111(4): 795-799.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised September 23, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 23, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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