We cannot help but accept the fact that children do get into trouble and sometimes emergencies when they are left in childcare programs. We just have to pray that most injuries sustained are minor such as cuts, scrapes, bruises, among others.
But when serious injuries and emergencies do happen, caregivers and childcare program administrators should have the proper and basic planning and first aid needed in times such as these.
A safer and well maintained establishment and facility. As most injuries and emergencies may be prevented, it is a must that a childcare program should be able to create and maintain safer play areas, establish safety rules, and properly supervise the children. Administrators and caregivers should be able to cope with minor injuries, as well as less common but serious emergencies which sometimes involve the head, broken bones, knocked-out teeth, poisoning, burns, choking, etc. Preparing for these kinds of emergencies will help caregivers to respond appropriately and make the children stay calm and even provide aid in the care of the injured child.
Basic First Aid and available emergency help should be at hand. One of the first steps to take during times of potentially serious injuries and emergencies would be to call for emergency help. If you are located in the urban areas, it is easy to get emergency help. Qualified emergency personnel can arrive in just a matter of minutes in your location. But not so in rural areas. Hence, it is important for caregivers to have training on life-threatening emergencies. A childcare facility should at least have one trained caregiver available to provide intensive first aid while waiting for help to arrive.
For minor injuries, basic first aid and a dose of tender care would suffice while waiting for a parent or guardian to arrive.
A well-stocked, accessible first aid kit should be provided. The following are some of the appropriate medical supplies that a basic first aid kit should have, as advised by an emergency personnel:
- Disposable non-porous, latex-free gloves for hand protection from blood and body fluids;
- Tweezers for removing splinters;
- Adhesive bandages;
- Scissors for cutting tapes and dressings;
- Bandage tape for gauze pads;
- Sterile gauze pads for cleaning and covering wounds;
- Flexible rolled gauze to hold a gauze pad in place;
- Eye dressings;
- Inset sting preparation; and
For other non medical supply materials, a first aid kit is also best to have a pencil or pen and notepad for writing down information and instructions; coins to use in a pay phone during a field trip; emergency telephone numbers such as the poison control center, paramedics, etc.; first aid guides; plastic zipper bags; and plastic trash bags for disposal of contaminated supplies.
In every situation, the best rule of thumb is to always be prepared. As the adage would say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
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