Health & Safety Information

The Child Care Planning Council of Yuba and Sutter Counties encourages and promotes quality standards of care.

 

Urgent Safety Information for Child Care Providers and Parents
(800) 638-2772

Web http://www.cpsc.gov

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents and caregivers to search their homes for recalled child products, particularly portable cribs, play yards, and play pens with top rail hinges. These products can collapse without warning, posing a suffocation danger to young children, and should not be used. for more information about recalled child products or to report a dangerous product, contact the CPSC.

Avoiding Provider Burnout

The term "burnout" is often tossed around lightly after a hard day of working with young children in a child care setting, but provider burnout can be a serious problem for the early childhood profession. It is often responsible for the high rate of teacher turnover, which, in turn, affects the quality of care young children receive. The profession of early childhood education involves long hours, low pay, minimal benefits, low status and the huge responsibility of caring for young children. To avoid losing qualified child care provider, it is important to look at the signs of burnout and find ways to reduce stress and burnout in the daily lives of child care providers by addressing the problem that cause it.

There are three main indicators that a provider is suffering from job burnout:

  1. The provider experiences some degree of physical and emotional exhaustion including fatigue, tension headaches, stomach problems, insomnia and muscle tension.
  2. The provider becomes disillusioned with the job (and life in general), displayed by distancing and isolating oneself from co-workers, irritability, anxiety and a growing cynicism.
  3. Self-doubt and blame surface, and can include depression, feelings of low self-esteem and incompetence, guilt and an overriding sense of sadness.

One way to address provider burnout is to add stress management techniques to staff education meetings and trainings as a benefit for all caregivers. Work with your supervisor to ensure that personnel needs are addressed, such as a quiet place for breaks each day, positive feedback and small rewards for excellence. Stress reduction support groups can be organized to help talk about teaching frustrations and to gain peer support and insight from one another. The sources of professional burnout and how to cope with them should also be covered in training for new early childhood educators. Learning coping and self-assessment skills can be useful in avoiding burnout and compassion fatigue throughout one's teaching career.

Early childhood development specialist, Nancy Baptist, writes that "self-assessment in the personal domain helps us to understand and know who we are. Self-assessment in the professional domain helps us to understand and know our knowledge skills and attitudes in our work life." As she reminds us, early childhood educators must make sure that they have not "gone beyond burnout and turned a love for and commitment to working with children and families from a passion into an addiction." It is important that all providers examine how they can make personal and professional changes to avoid burnout in order to make their fuller and healthier.

Sources:

Always Growing and Learning: A Case for Self-Assessment, Day Care and Early Education, by Nancy Baptist, 1994.

Avoiding Burnout: Strategies for Managing Time, Space and People in Early Childhood Education, by Paula Jorde-Bloom. New Horizons, Lake Forest, IL, 1982

Judith Kunitz, MA, Child Development Specialist Child Care Health Connections, Nov/Dec 2000

Back Injury Among Providers

What a Child Care Provider needs to know:

Back injury is the most common cause of occupational injury for child care providers, that can cause a great deal of pain, medical expenses, loss of work time and inconvenience. Providers need to exercise and practice good body mechanics to stay healthy.

Dr. Rene Gratz and her colleagues studied the health risk factors associated with the child care work site and put together the following list of the top eight health risk problems:

  1. Incorrect lifting of children, toys, equipments, etc.
  2. Inadequate work heights (e.g., child-size tables and chairs)
  3. Lowering and lifting in and out of cribs
  4. Frequent sitting on the floor with back unsupported
  5. Excessive reaching above shoulder height to obtain stored supplies
  6. Frequent lifting of children on and off the diaper changing tables
  7. Awkward positions and forceful motions needed to open window
  8. Carrying garbage diaper bags to dumpster

What a child care provider can do to reduced back injury

You can prevent back injury by:

  1. Learn proper lifting and carrying techniques, such as keeping the child as close as possible to you and avoiding and twisting motion as you lift the child. Encourage independence in children, e.g. walk up stairs with a toddler, rather than carry her.
  2. Adult furniture; providers should not use child-sized chairs, tables, or desks. Use sit/kneel chairs. Practice proper body mechanics.
  3. Always lower the crib side before lifting the child out. Practice proper body mechanics.
  4. When possible, sit up against a wall or furniture for back support. Perform stretching exercises.

The Center for Injury Prevention, Policy and Practice

The Center for Injury Prevention, Policy and Practice of San Diego State University publishes Safety Tip Sheets that provide information to promote safe environments in child care facilities. There are different Safety Tip Sheets fro each age group and are available in English and Spanish.

For the Safety Tip Sheets or more information click on the link below

http://www.cippp.org and click on Publications then scroll down and click on Safety Sheets.