Child Care Safety
Definition: Child care safety concentrates on protecting young children from hazards and diseases in child care settings such as day care centers; child care homes; preschools; and before- and after-school programs.
Magnitude of the Problem: According to the AAP a majority of children in the U.S. are enrolled in out of home child care programs.
According to a 2001 study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission child care centers were the locations of:
- 2% of all injuries sustained by children two years old and younger
- 54% of all injuries sustained by children 2-4 years of age
- 42% of all injuries sustained by children 5-9 years of age
Playgrounds are the most frequent site of injuries in child care centers.
Other factors that contribute to injuries in this setting include:
- Other children (pushing, throwing)
- Physical environment, e.g. radiators; glass doors; fences gates; vegetation.
- Bicycles and sleds
Prevention: Regulation and inspections of child care setting vary across the country. Oversight of out of home child care safety lies with individual states, each of which develops its own regulations. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care Settings have developed national guidelines that can help to inform the development of state regulations and help parents evaluate out of home child care settings to assure the healthy and safety of their children.
Injury Prevention Links
- CDC Healthy Youth
- Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA
- Center for School Mental Health Analysis and Action
- DOE Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools
- Healthy Child Care America
- National Program for Playground Safety
- National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care
- United States Secret Service Safe School Initiative
Consumer Product Safety Commission Checklist for Parents and Child Care Providers
Model Child Care Health Policies - Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition
Unintentional Injuries in Child Care Centers in the United States: A Systematic Review | Journal of Child Health Care