Module 3 Ensure the Health and Safety of Children
All children have the right to experience quality education and care in an environment that provides for their health and safety. Nannies support this when they promote each child’s wellbeing and healthy lifestyle, and support each child’s growing competence, confidence and independence.
Nannies should provide for the well being and comfort of each individual child including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation- for example a balance between active and restful periods throughout the day established in the child’s daily routine (this should always be in collaboration with the families’ expectations and requirements).
Effective supervision is integral to creating environments which are safe and responsive to the needs of all children. It also helps to protect children from hazards or harm which may arise from their play and daily routines. Effective supervision also allows educators to engage in meaningful interactions with children. Supervision includes all children (individuals and groups) in all areas of the care environment, being in sight and/or hearing of the Nanny at all times including during toileting, sleep, rest, meals and transition routines.
To promote the safety of each child in your care, effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices should be promoted and implemented. This includes supervising the children at all times, minimizing risks in the indoor and outdoor environments (e.g. Using the Home Safety Checklist, Sun Protection Policy, Road Safety Policy, Babysitting Kit).
Home Safety Checklist
A Home Safety Checklist will be provided to Nannies. This has been developed to assist Nannies employed with In-Home Care Placements with the prevention of accidental injury to the children, themselves and families by identifying potential risks and hazards within the home environment.
This Checklist is a guide only, not a regulation and we advise Nannies to complete this Checklist on a monthly basis (or as required). It does not override state or territory legislation or regulations, national standards or scheme policies (where applicable).
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, follow your Client’s “Illness and Emergency Procedure” (we advise that contact numbers are updated in your Communication Book and recommend that you have the number of the children’s Medicare Card to allow for presentation at the hospital or GP if necessary).
Use common sense and follow emergency procedures at all times. Your priority is the children in your care.
Sun Protection Policy (sunsmart.com)
Slip – on sun protective clothing covering shoulders, arms and legs.
Slop – on broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen (check if children have allergies to specific sunscreens before applying).
Slap – on a sun protective hat which shades your head, face, eyes, ears and neck. Bucket, broad-brim or legionnaire hats are best.
Seek – shady areas to play in when outside.
Slide – on sunglasses. As some young children are reluctant to wear sunglasses you can still help to protect their eyes by putting on a broad-brimmed hat and staying in the shade.
NOTE: Toy sunglasses do not meet the requirements under the Australian Standards and should not be used for sun protection.
Road Safety Policy
It is the responsibility of Nannies/Educators to teach children about the importance of road safety (stop, look, listen, think), obeying the rules, listening to families, holding hands, pedestrian safety, car safety (wearing seatbelts, keeping hands within the car, exiting the vehicle from the kerb side only- not beside potential traffic), wearing helmets when bikes and scooters are used in play experiences. Driveways, car parks, unfenced yards; private roads and farms are particular danger areas.
Baby Wipes + Tissues
First Aid Kit (including thermometer)
Hat + Sunscreen
Spare Change of Clothes
Toys, Games, Books, Texters, Paper, Craft Activities, Plastic Sheet (age appropriate for the children you are working with)
Food and Drinks for yourself (ensuring that they do not conflict with any allergies which the children may have)
Workplace Forms – Medication, Accident/Illness and Transportation Permission
Once filled out, these documents must be kept by yourself until the child is 21 years of age to comply with regulatory requirements. If the parent requests a copy, give them the original copy but take a photo of the document to ensure that you have a record. Store these documents in a secure location in your home in a separate file) (Medication, Accident/Illness and Transportation Permission) can be downloaded from Nannies Resources.
Accident / Illness Form:
Any Injury or illness must be recorded in detail on the form (Child’s name, date, time, location, nature of the injury/illness, name of witness, indication on body map, action/first aid undertaken, family member’s name for notification and their reaction, time of the parent’s arrival, name of the person collecting the child, name and signature of the person making the report and date, notification and signature from parents and date).
With any head injury (big or small), you must contact the parent and inform them of the injury and the actions and monitoring which you are undertaking to ensure that the child’s injury is being carefully monitored (it is the parent’s choice whether to return immediately or wait for receive updates form you regarding the child’s condition).
For any medications administered to the children in your care, this form must be filled out by the parent and checked by yourself (including the parent’s name and address, authority to give you permission to administer the medication, the name of the medication, dosage-according to the child’s age/weight/doctor’s instructions, time and date to be given, parent’ signature, your name and signature).
For every assignment which you undertake, you must ask the parent if the child/ren has/have been well overnight and the location of any medications to be given as well as details of times and medications provided to the child/ren prior to your arrival. If you need to administer medications which have not been authorised prior to the parent leaving the child in your care, you may fill out the form over the phone with the parent and record all the details for them to sign once they return. If there is any form of pre-mixed medication with no labelling to detail the dosages and instructions for the use of that medication, only the parent should give that medication as you have no guidelines as to the contents and possible reactions for the child in your care.
General medications for children will include: – Panadol, Nurofen, Antibiotics, Topical Creams for rashes, EpiPen, Asthma medications.
Transportation Permission Form:
You must obtain written permission from the parent to take the child/ren off the booking premises for any outing (swimming, beach, park, movies, shopping, play dates…) whether in your own vehicle or the parent’s vehicle or if you are walking with the children.
You must only use a restraint which has been approved to Australian Standards in any vehicle you are transporting children in.
The parent must call their insurance company to authorise you on their policy if you are driving their vehicle. If you are not comfortable in managing any potential risks associated with taking the children off the booked premises, politely decline the request for safety concerns and inform the parent that you have plenty of fun and engaging activities to undertake with their child/ren within the safe environment of the premises.
Duty of Care
Every Nanny has a ‘duty of care’ towards every child under his/her supervision, to care and protect him/her from foreseeable risk of injury or harm.
When in a stroller/pram or highchair, each child must be secured with the 5-point safety harness.
When children are asleep, Nannies must complete bed checks every 20 minutes to ‘observe’ the ‘rise and fall’ of the child’s chest and record the times on the Evaluation Form provided for the family at the end of the assignment. At no time are Nannies to solely rely on baby monitors to observe children’s sleep habits (as they are potentially unreliable).
When planning and implementing programs for children, the duty is to ensure that the building, equipment and facilities are safe and to inform the family if there are dangers present. Any risks are to be recorded, minimized/eliminated where practicable.
When bathing/showering children, you must ensure that a non-slip mat is available for use, and if not, wipe the child’s body with baby wipes and inform the parent of your efforts to clean their child safely.
If you have concerns regarding the welfare and safety of children or young people in your care, please refer to Module 4: Identify and Respond to Children And Young People At Risk. Please refer to South Coast Nannies Office for support if you are unsure.