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Child Care Health Consultant Competency 9: Safety and Injury Prevention

(Source: Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center, Child Care Health Consultant Competencies)

The CCHC assesses and identifies injury hazards indoors, outdoors, and in and around vehicles. The CCHC helps programs promote safety by understanding how the interaction between children, adults, and the environment may contribute to injury risk. A CCHC also:

  • Helps programs implement safety practices through planning, policies, and procedures
  • Provides training to staff and families about common injuries and injury prevention for infants and children
  • Helps staff use evidence-based checklists to assess and monitor indoor and outdoor environments for hazards associated with these injuries
  • Helps programs determine how to respond when safety risks are identified
  • Ensures use of safe and developmentally appropriate equipment, including furniture, toys, art supplies, and playground structures and surfacing that comply with safety standards, such as those set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International
  • Assesses sleep areas and procedures to ensure safe sleep practices
  • Connects programs to training and resources on safety in and around vehicles, including selecting and installing child passenger safety seats
  • Helps programs ensure families understand their safety policies and procedures

The CCHC helps programs create a safe environment and prevent injuries by ensuring that staff are actively supervising the children in their care at all times. The CCHC helps the program with active supervision training, implementation, and monitoring. A CCHC also:

  • Reviews and revises policies to ensure they include assignments for supervision, monitoring, and contingency plans to maintain developmentally appropriate child-to-staff ratios
  • Supports programs in implementing supervision strategies in all indoor and outdoor settings, including vehicles in programs that provide transportation, and during transitions
  • Collaborates with programs to plan environments to allow for visibility and responsive caregiving
  • Encourages programs to perform ongoing observations of staff to ensure active supervision is being implemented consistently
  • Helps programs develop strategies to minimize staff distractions

The CCHC collaborates with ECE programs to ensure staff are trained in how to identify and respond to injuries. A CCHC also:

  • Helps programs know how to respond in the event of an injury, medical emergency, or an unresponsive child
  • Helps programs identify situations that require immediate medical attention and those that require emergency medical services
  • Connects programs with local resources for attaining CPR, choking response, and first aid training

Find a CCHC in your community.

Featured Initiatives and Resources

The mission of Safe Kids NC is to reduce and prevent accidental childhood injuries birth through age 14. Safe Kids NC works to prevent injuries in children ages 19 and under through education and outreach. There are 46 Safe Kids coalitions covering 71 counties in North Carolina.

The poison control center serving all of North Carolina. Specialists in poison information are trained to provide treatment advice to both the public and healthcare providers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All of our services are given at no charge.

The North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Resource Center provides information on the use of child safety seats and seat belts, occupant restraint laws in North Carolina, as well as training opportunities and statewide resources.

Additional Resources