When choosing a day care, the number one priority for most parents is the safety of their child. Not being assured of this can be one of the biggest sources of stress for any working parent. However, there are steps that can be taken to help ensure the safety of your child. The following safety tips will provide you with several ways to help check the safety at your day care center.

Safety Tip #1: Know the Security Measures

If a day care is licensed by the state of Nevada, one worry should already be eased, as the staff must have criminal background checks. However, you should also inspect all entrances. Is there more than one? Does each entrance have cameras that are monitored? Is there a coded entry? Also, make sure the staff has procedures for non-custodians picking up the child. The person should be pre-approved and required to present identification.

Safety Tip #2: Be Health Conscious

Day cares are breeding grounds for germs. For this reason, consider following the CDC’s recommendation and get any child over the age of six months old vaccinated for the flu. Also, carefully inspect the day care center for safety measures such as cleanliness; disinfecting of toys, cots and surfaces; food preparations; proper disposal of diapers and other waste materials; and most importantly, encouraging everybody in the center to wash their hands.

Safety Tip #3: Inspect for Indoor Safety Hazards

The majority of a child’s time will be spent indoors, especially during inclement weather. That is why you should take the time to inspect this area for safety hazards. Look for such things as exposed outlets or cords that can become a tripping hazard. Are there any loose rugs and is access to stairs or other drop-offs blocked? Are windows locked and secure? Are the toys well maintained and age appropriate?

Safety Tip #4: Inspect the Playground and Surrounding Areas

The outdoors presents hazards of a different kind, and you should carefully examine this area as well. The playground equipment should be well maintained with proper cushioning. In addition, check to make sure the perimeter is secure so that no child can leave and access to the public is denied. Finally, do not forget the parking lot. Is it well light? Are the sidewalks maintained?

Safety Tip #5: Keep All Information Updated

When your child is enrolled in day care, you must fill out emergency medical forms. It is critical that this information is accurate and updated regularly. The form will contain important contact information for you, other caregivers, and doctors. It will also give permission for the child to be treated in the event that a listed guardian cannot be reached. Other important information may include allergies to food or medicine.

When parents entrust a child to a day care, they want to know one thing — will my child be safe? You can help ease your mind by following a few simple safety tips. Knowing security measures, being health conscious, inspecting for hazards and keeping information up to date will all help ensure the safety of your child and help you breathe a little easier on your way to work.