Quality Indicators At An Early Childhood Center

1202 words - 5 pages

Health, safety and nutrition are intertwined and are dependent on each other for the overall growth and development of the child. WHO defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Safety refers to the behaviors and practices that protect children and adults from unnecessary harm. (Marotz, Cross and Rush 2010, p. 10). It is a collaborative effort by the parents, educators and the community to establish a healthy and a safe environment for the child's development. Teachers not only provide safe environment, nutritious meals and stimulate learning experience. They also have many opportunities throughout the day to promote children's health and development of healthy behaviors (Marcon, 2003). The three significant factors that promote health and safety in early childhood centers are: Injury prevention, providing a hygienic and clean environment and Identifying and responding to childhood illness.Injury preventionAccording to Allen and Marotz, 2010; "Protecting children's safety requires a keen awareness of their skills and abilities at each developmental stage." It is the teacher's responsibility to be watchful and proactive at all times. For example when an infant enjoys hand to mouth activities the teacher should constantly monitor for small objects or poisonous objects which are hazardous. Children should be constantly supervised. Rules must be made simple and reinforced constantly so that children are positively guided towards personal safety skills. It is estimated that a child is hurt on a playground every 2½ minutes in the United States. (Hudson, Thompson, & Mack, 1997). And 17 children die every year as a result of their playground injuries (Mack, Hudson, & Thompson, 1997). Children are incapable to judge space, time, speed, and distance accurately this leads to injuries. For example: falling from the bike, playing tag (Crawley-Coha, 2002; Marotz, 2000). Stopping children from using the play area is not a good option. But, designing play areas that enhance a child's development while limiting the risk factor of getting injured is the best solution. Limited experience also makes it hard for them to preconceive the consequences based on their actions. Child friendly play areas are not the only option for injury prevention however, there should be constant supervision. The key purpose for active supervision is to ensure safety and to prevent injuries.Dental HealthChildren's dental health is often taken for granted but, from 2010 it has been targeted as a healthy goal in the 'Healthy People 2020 objectives.' Oral hygiene practices implemented early in children's lives promote healthy tooth development. Neglected dental care leads to painful cavities and infected teeth which affects the child's behavior and distracts the child's academic progression. In a recent research it has been found that the children from lower income group are more prone to...

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