It is important that we remember that Health & Safety must be an integral part of everything we do.
We need to achieve a balance between keeping children safe and acceptable risk Questions to consider: How do we keep children safe? What is acceptable risk? How do we build confidence, not fear? What is risk assessment and how is it useful?
Keeping children safe involves:- Developmentally appropriate activities Clean, safe, well organised environment Safe materials and equipment Fit persons working with children Adult supervision Correct hygiene, fire safety and security procedures Secure buildings and grounds Helping the child to learn how to keep themselves safe
What is risk assessment? Risk assessed through careful observation, discussion about and information on the frequency of actual incidents The differences between HAZARD and RISK is that a hazard is a physical situation that could potential result in harm It is important to identify the genuine level of risk
Risk Assessment Task: 1. Working in pairs identify the potential hazards within the images provided by the tutor. 2.Now proceed to identify the potential risk and level of risk. 3.Using this information completed a risk assessment form.
Learning About Safety Differences exist between social and cultural groups on assessment of risk for children and so there are different judgements affecting the boundaries determined by adults. Learning about safety is also influenced by individual temperament, some children being more inquisitive and confident than others
Childrens awareness of safety and how to keep themselves safe, develops with age Task:
Birth to one year No understanding of safety and risk but very motivated to use physical skills The need to explore should be catered for by giving children safe objects and materials to explore Distraction is more effective than showing anger when a child is displaying natural curiosity
One to two years Children do not learn from accidents, unable to generalise learning from one incident Can become very absorbed in activity and unaware of danger
Three to five years The ability to apply what they have learnt is growing Adults need to gradually increase childrens responsibility for the own learning, letting them do activities not previously allowed, but must not overestimate abilities Children more able to look ahead and benefit from adults information provided through words and demonstration, bear in mind, however, children dont always understand adult explanation
Three to five continued Cultural attitudes often encourage boys rather than girls to take risk Adults need to try to see the world through childrens eyes and anticipate the risk they may face through inexperience
Five to eight years Competence in practical and life skills, will result from opportunities to learn from experiences. Still lack understanding in some areas and may not understand the limits to their skills. Need challenges otherwise become passive or create dangers themselves