Safety Tips for Back-to-School Season
Summer has faded and kids have returned. Fall is a great time for reminders on how you can improve child safety. At KidCheck, we believe every child deserves to be in a safe environment and every parent, and organization caring for them, deserves peace of mind about their safety. Our goal is to equip leaders of child-centered organizations like you with the information you need to increase protection and safety.
Here are a few practical tips to help you prepare and promote safety all year long.
- Utilize a touchless check-in and out system to eliminate lines, socially distance, and improve germ management.
- Update your Child Protection Policy. Look to include germ management and communication plan for ongoing covid response.
- Ramp up a training and education strategy. Ensure everyone knows your child safety policies, emergency procedures, and evacuation plans.
- Plan and practice scenarios with your volunteers, staff, and families for a fire threat, tornado/hurricane, flood, and facility lockdown.
- Know your local resources! Police, fire, and EMS are great resources to help identify potential risks, hazards, and threats. For additional safety, consider allowing them to train in your facility.
- Confirm that every volunteer, staff, or guardian onsite or working directly with kids and youth is comprehensively screened.
- Never put a minor in charge of other minors! There should always be a fully screened, legal adult present during the activity.
- Maintain appropriate staff-to-child ratios and work to manage capacity. Combine classes or activities if necessary.
- Have a process to document and store incident photos in a digital format. It helps protect all involved.
- Stock and label the location of first aid kits, hand sanitizer, and extra wipes. Check defibrillators, make sure they are working and replace batteries if needed.
- Hang laminated lists or flip books of important contact information and safety protocols in visible locations. Highlight the information, so everyone knows its location.
- Implement a system for tracking and managing allergy or medical information.
- Follow the rule of two and ensure that a child is never alone with one adult, even if it’s inconvenient.
- Remind guardians and parents to “Pay Attention to Who is Paying Attention to their Child.”
Whether you’re with a church, school, after-care program, daycare, fitness facility, or activity center, we hope this information helps you create a safe environment.