Child Care Safety Checklist
Be Sure Your Child Care Setting Is As Safe As It Can Be
About 31,000 children, 4 years old and younger, were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries at child care/school settings in 1997. CPSC is aware of at least 56 children who have died in child care settings since 1990. <>Use the safety tips in this checklist to help keep young children safe.
Child Care Safety Checklist for Parents and Child Care Providers
- CRIBS: Make sure cribs meet current national safety standards and are in good condition. Look for a certification safety seal. Older cribs may not meet current standards. Crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8" apart, and mattresses should fit snugly.
This can prevent strangulation and suffocation associated with older cribs and mattresses that are too small.
- SOFT BEDDING: Be sure that no pillows, soft bedding, or comforters are used when you put babies to sleep. Babies should be put to sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm, flat mattress.
This can help reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation related to soft bedding.
- PLAYGROUND SURFACING: Look for safe surfacing on outdoor playgrounds - at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
This helps protect against injuries from falls, especially head injuries.
- PLAYGROUND MAINTENANCE: Check playground surfacing and equipment regularly to make sure they are maintained in good condition.
This can help prevent injuries, especially from falls.
- SAFETY GATES: Be sure that safety gates are used to keep children away from potentially dangerous areas, especially stairs.
Safety gates can protect against many hazards, especially falls.
- WINDOW BLIND AND CURTAIN CORDS: Be sure miniblinds and venetian blinds do not have looped cords. Check that vertical blinds, continuous looped blinds, and drapery cords have tension or tie-down devices to hold the cords tight.
These safety devices can prevent strangulation in the loops of window blind and curtain cords.
- CLOTHING DRAWSTRINGS: Be sure there are no drawstrings around the hood and neck of children's outerwear clothing. Other types of clothing fasteners, like snaps, zippers, or hook and loop fasteners (such as Velcro), should be used.
Drawstrings can catch on playground and other equipment and can strangle young children.
- RECALLED PRODUCTS: Check that no recalled products are being used and that a current list of recalled children's products is readily visible.
Recalled products pose a threat of injury or death. Displaying a list of recalled products will remind caretakers and parents to remove or repair potentially dangerous children's toys and products.
For More Information:
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, you can go to CPSC's forms page and use the first on-line form on that page. Or, you can call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or send the information to email@example.com. Consumers can obtain this publication and additional publication information from the Publications section of CPSC's web site or by sending your publication request to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to receive CPSC's recall notices, subscribing to the email list will send all press releases to you the day they are issued.
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