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July 28, 2009
Summer has arrived, and your child may spend more time outdoors while in child care. You will want to make sure your child care provider has proper safety measures in place in their daily routine. As a parent, you are entitled to express concerns regarding your child's safety to your provider, and your provider should make safety the highest priority. Talk with you provider about:
Regardless of your child's age, sun protection is always important. Make certain your child will be protected from the sun while enjoying the outdoors.
Along with all of the fun that accompanies summer come those pesky little bugs. Bugs of all kinds. Talk with your provider to make sure she understands your wishes regarding the application of insect repellent. DEET is considered to be very effective in repelling ticks and mosquitoes. Keep in mind there are differing levels of DEET, available in a variety of products. Higher levels of DEET are suggested for infants (older than 2 months) and young children. Be aware of the products your provider intends to use, and, if necessary, pack your own repellent in your "summer" bag. The same clothing used for sun protection can also be used for bug protection.
You should be comfortable knowing that your child care provider can appropriately handle any "bug emergency" – from removing a stinger to tending to a fly bite. It is important that you advise your provider of any allergic reactions your child might have if bitten by a mosquito or stung by a bee. These bug emergencies may require medical attention such as administering an antihistamine, topical cream, or, if severe enough, an injectable medication such as an EpiPen or Ana-Kit. For children, these can typically be administered with the help of an adult. But do not take this for granted. You need to be aware of your state requirements allowing providers to administer medication. These regulations will determine whether or not your provider will be able to assist your child in the event of an allergic reaction. While allergies and risk of reaction might be seasonal, regulations allowing a provider to administer medication typically do not change as frequently. Keep this in mind when selecting a child care provider.
Children, from toddlers to school-age are, are always excited to get outside and play. To help make this playtime enjoyable, you will want to make sure the equipment your child is playing on is safe. Each state has regulations regarding outdoor play areas, but you should always look for of the following:
It's important to note that these recommendations are only a few of the many indicators of quality in child care. You may want to rate your child care program on our 38 Indicators of Quality on our free parent network site http://ratingtool.ccaparentnetwork.org/ (you will need to register to use the tool) for a more complete look at safety and quality in your child's program.
Each state has its own regulations for operating a child care program. These regulations include health and safety guidelines. Check with your state licensing agency to learn more about the regulations in your area (http://www.childcareaware.org/en/parent_information/licensing/). Your child care provider should also be familiar with these regulations. As long as you and your child care provider have good communication, there's no reason your child can't enjoy the summer...safely.
Is This the Right Place for My Child?: 38 Research-Based Indicators of High-Quality Child Care, a Child Care Aware® publicationhttp://ccapub.childcareaware.org/docs/pubs/121e.pdf
What's the Plan?, a Child Care Aware® of America publication http://ccapub.childcareaware.org/docs/pubs/120e.pdf
American Academy of Pediatrics
Safe Kids World Wide