How Do I know My Day Care Center is Safe?
Print out this handy checklist and take it with you when interviewing prospective providers.
Make sure your home or center lives up to these standards
* Running water, soap and paper towels are readily available
* Baby toys are washed daily and disinfected twice a week
* Diapering is done at a changing table, never in an area where children play.
* All electrical outlets are covered with protective caps and all potentially dangerous products including medicines and cleaning supplies, are stored in original, labeled container in locked cabinets.
* The home or center has working smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers are easily accessible,
* Daily cleaning includes disinfecting bathroom fixtures, removing trash and cleaning kitchen area.
* All play equipment is in good repair and clean, with no sharp edges, rusty nails, etc.
* At least one staff person who knows the Heimlich maneuver and is certified in emergency pediatric first-aid and CPR for infants and children is always present.
* Perishable foods are stored int eh refrigerator at temperatures low enough to prevent spoilage, other foods are kept in containers on shelves at least six inches above the floor and lunches from home are kept in the fridge.
In addition to these guidelines, check to see if :
* The home or center conducts periodic fire drills.
* Parents are given written procedure guidelines if their child becomes ill or is injured while in day care and instructed about when to keep a sick child home.
* The kitchen area is closed off.
* Stairwells are closed off from children yet are easily accessible for emergency evacuation.
* Windows have guards that prevent them from being opened more than 5 inches.
* Children and caregivers wash their hands before and after handling food, using the bathroom, and changing diapers.
* Small, east to swallow objects are completely out of reach.
* Toys and play equipment are age appropriate.
* The diaper changing area is sanitized after each use, and dirty diapers are stored in sealed, plastic lined bins.
* Swimming and wading pools, ponds, and decorative fountains are fenced off.
* The outside play area is fenced or enclosed.
* Certified car seats are used on field trips.