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HLT 111 - Health and the Young Child - Textbook

Chapter 5: Keeping Children Safe

Chapter Objectives

At the conclusion of the chapter, students will be able to

1. Describe the physical environment and its effect on children’s health

2. Describe the safety measures for children’s safety at indoor and outdoor spaces

3. Describe precaution measures needed for children’s outdoor play equipment

4. Discuss the importance of general and specific licensing regulations and procedures related to child safety


“It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb which underscores the fact that children need a safe and a healthy environment to grow and develop into physically and mentally healthy adults. Children may be forced to stay indoors when parents perceive that environment is not safe, limiting their outdoor physical activity. Instead young children stay indoors and may be at risk of developing overweight/obesity.

Children’s development is heavily influenced by the community in which they grow. Children need a family and neighborhoods free of drugs, violence, excessive noise and/or traffic, and environmental pollution. They need a healthful food to eat, a safe water to drink, and a clean air to breath. Air pollution may exacerbate asthmatic attacks in children.

Families may need a safe out-of-home arrangements for child care, including a safe environment to stay before and after regular school hours. Families need to ensure that before-and-after school centers and home-based child care services have the proper accreditation and licensure before entrusting their children to the services they provide. Child-care centers need an indoor and outdoor spaces with safety, security, and appropriate play equipment, among other things.

Chapter Review and Discussion Questions

Chapter Review

Discuss the importance of providing a safe environment for children indoors and outdoors. Before allowing children to play with materials, you should check the condition of the materials. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are rugs in good condition and free of frayed edges?
  2. Are shelves in good condition and free of splinters, sharp edges or other damage?
  3. Are chairs and tables in good condition and free of splinters, sharp edges or other damage?
  4. Are musical instruments in good condition? Look for splintering wood or shakers that may come apart to release small, unsafe objects.
  5. Are all toys sturdy and in good condition? Check wooden ramps or other objects for signs of weakness.
  6. As toys are used, have wooden edges become rough or splintered? Have pieces of metal snagged or warped? Have any plastic or glass pieces splintered? If any of these answers are yes, the toy or object is unsafe and should be replaced or removed.
  7. Are electrical cords in poor condition (fraying) or secured unsafely? Are some electronic objects in poor working order? If any of these answers are yes, these items are unsafe and should be appropriately repaired or removed