6 Hazards to Look for In Your Church Nurseryplanning ahead // on Tuesday July 19, 2016
Like the babies and toddlers who visit every week, your church nursery needs care and attention. A safe, secure environment not only protects your church’s smallest members, it gives their parents peace of mind.
Regular, thorough inspections are the best way to keep your nursery as safe as possible because they allow you to identify potential problems and take necessary steps to fix them. Here are a few of the hazards you’ll want to look for when conducting a walk-through:
Potential problem: Long, loose cords
Smart solution: Cords are a strangulation and tip-over hazard, so keep cords for window coverings and electronics out of children’s reach, and never place cribs near windows with corded coverings.
Potential problem: Cribs with wide or loose slats, or with wide gaps between the crib and the mattress
Smart solution: If your nursery has older or donated cribs, make sure they meet current crib safety guidelines. For instance, slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart and you shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has more information on safe cribs here.
Potential problem: Wooden toys with splintered edges
Smart solution: Inspect new and used toys on a regular basis. Say good-bye to toys that:
- Have sharp edges or points
- Have slots or holes that can pinch fingers
- Have small or moving parts that aren’t securely fastened
- Are broken and can’t be repaired
- Are small enough to be choking hazards
- Are made with lead-based paints
Potential problem: Uncovered electrical outlets
Smart solution: Secure all outlets with childproof covers or cover plates, and install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets on any outlets within three feet of a water source.
Potential problem: A TV that’s not secured to its base
Smart solution: If your nursery has a TV, strap it to its stand (ideally a low, wide, movable base) or mount it to the wall. While you’re at it, secure bookcases and other furniture to the wall with anti-tip brackets or braces to prevent tip-over accidents.
Potential problem: Lack of a formal screening process for anyone who works with children
Smart solution: Conduct background checks on employees and volunteers, and keep these considerations in mind when screening applicants. Make sure all nursery staff and volunteers are well-aware of your church’s childcare policies and procedures.
Other hazards, like faulty equipment, may also exist. For more tips on what to look for as you inspect your church’s nursery, download GuideOne’s free guide, “Child Safety for Churches.”