Revisiting Your Child Safety Planbeing there // on Tuesday August 16, 2016
It’s that time of year again; back to school. This means that after-school clubs, fall sports practices, Sunday school and religious education classes are back in swing. While children are stocking up on new school supplies, it is important for the leaders of your organization to revisit your child safety plan.
While running your organization, it is extremely important to keep the safety of children in mind and plan for the unexpected. What will you do if severe weather strikes? Or an intruder? How will you protect the children from harmful situations? These are all questions that can be answered by having an up-to-date and accessible child safety plan.
A child safety plan can include many different items ranging from simple first-aid procedures to policies that ensure the security of children. As you revisit your plan, verify that these procedures are up-to-date and also add any new policies or procedures that you believe could be beneficial. Below are a few things you may include in your plan:
Emergency Evacuation Procedures – Ensure you have exit routes established for all areas, classrooms or offices in your building. Educate all staff and volunteers on these routes so they know exactly where to go in the event of an emergency. Post graphics of these routes in each room, and make sure all exits are labeled properly and are easy to find.
Severe Weather Procedures – Identify safe, easily accessible shelter areas where people can go when severe weather strikes. Make sure these areas are clearly labeled and that staff and volunteers know exactly where to go in an emergency. Include these locations with your emergency evacuation graphics. Additionally, make sure you have basic emergency supplies on hand.
Intruder Procedures – Establish safe places for children to hide and inform staff of steps they may need to take, such as locking classroom doors and turning off lights. Additionally, having a system for alerting everyone of what is going on as well as when it is safe again is extremely important.
Sexual Misconduct and Abuse Prevention – To protect children from an unwanted situation, it is important to have policies in place to prevent one from happening. Some examples of policies include:
- Run background checks on all staff.
- Always have more than one adult in the room at a time.
- Keep events and activities in open, visible areas.
- Inform your staff and children about signs to look for prior to a situation taking place.
First-Aid Procedures – With children around, an accident is likely to happen. Ensure you have first-aid policies in place as well as a fully stocked first-aid kit. It may also be beneficial to have all of your staff go through a first-aid and CPR training course prior to working at your organization.
Keeping the children of your organization safe should be a top priority. An up-to-date child safety plan can help you be more prepared in an emergency situation. You can find more resources for keeping children safe by scrolling through the numerous Safety Resources on GuideOne.com.