Describe the factors to take into account when planning healthy and safe indoor and outdoor environments and services There are a number of principles to think about when planning for healthy and safe environments or activities with children and young people. Most are common sense – just remember; everyone is an individual and may have particular needs. So factors to consider when planning a healthy and safe environment/service are: 1. Every child is an individual – with different needs depending on their age and abilities.
This must be considered when planning activities, for example when they involve physical play, or if more consideration must be given to the needs of a child who has just become mobile than to an older child, when planning room layout. 2. Some children have specific needs such as sensory impairments; for example think about the challenges to a child with limited hearing understanding explanations about safety. 3. The different needs of families and carers must be considered. 4. Always be clear about why you are using the environment in question, the activities a child encounters and what sort of services are offered. 5.
The duty of care of a setting to children, parents and carers is a legal obligation. You should always have the child’s safety and welfare uppermost in your mind when planning. The desired outcomes for the children and young people are the starting point. Most activities with children and young people should have clear aims and objectives that are based around the required outcome linked to their age; for example the EYFS for children under 5 years of age. Lines of responsibility and accountability: everyone employed has a responsibility for the health and safety of children and staff, but there should be clear reporting responsibilities. .
It is important that children are given freedom to develop their skills, with adult support but not too much intervention. Understanding the stage of development a child is at and their individual needs can help you to provide the right amount of risk in activities. For example, children under the age of 8 cannot safely judge the speed or distance of a car on the road; so a child under 8 could never be allowed to cross the road alone. 3. 2 Explain the dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements Children learn by trying out new experiences and making choices. But they do not have the necessary skills and judgement to always make safe choices.
As carers we have the responsibility of identifying potential hazards in any situation and to judge when it is safe to allow a child to undertake an activity or make a choice. Some children need this freedom to explore risk even more than others. For example, a disabled child may be restricted in play at home because of parental concern that the child could hurt themselves. In a well-controlled setting the child can be encouraged to explore and try out new skills. Children are usually good at deciding what is safe or not. Large play equipment is a good example of how children assess and manage risk. Without adult or another child’s intervention most children will not stretch themselves beyond their capabilities. For example a child will not climb up a climbing fence if they are not happy at getting down it.
However, parents or carers who are overly cautious about children may stop a child trying things out. 3. 3 Give example from own practice of supporting children or young people to assess and manage risk An example of how I do this in my own practice would n Be regular visits to the park where there are large equipment and tall slides. Obviously in line with the child’s age, physical abilities, and development stage independence is granted to explore and climb the large slide. That said I have seen first-hand how a child will not venture if not confident. So although I’m always close to hand and within reach id needed I try to step back and let the children explore and climb as they feel they can.