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Daycare Corner-In Home Providers-What to do if a child is injured in your Care
Providing care to children in your home is both rewarding and wonderful, but even the best of providers can have the worst of days. If a child is injured in your home, even people you consider friends may sue you, report you, and in the end, you may loose a lot. Knowing what to do in the event that a child in your care is injured, following the correct steps to report it, and keeping the right documentation can be the difference between loosing everything you own in a lawsuit and being protected.
Do you know what to do if a child is injured in your
care? Even small scrapes from a child
falling need to be documented, not only to protect the child, but to protect
you as a provider. It’s important to
have a procedure in place, and to follow it every time there is an incident. Injuries can happen any time. One child can bite another, a child can fall,
children can have altercations, automobile accidents can occur, or a careless
toddler can fall and hit their head.
What do you do?
Have a plan in place, know what you need to do, and have forms on hand.
- Assess the situation-Look at the injury. Does the child need first aid, or just a hug better? Pay attention to the details of the injury, such as size, color, whether the skin is broken, bruised, or any other details that will be important.
- Place the call-Parents need to know what happened to the child, and what you are doing to make it better. It’s okay to feel like you’re being annoying, but parents will feel better knowing that you are being up front and honest about anything that happens to their most important commodity. Make sure you note the time of the call, whether you spoke to a parent, who you spoke to, what they said, whether you left a message, and when they called you back.
- Incident Report-Fill out an incident report every time there is an injury. It’s important to have one with body outlines so that you can show where on the body the injury is as well as describe it. Have the parent(s) read and sign it when they arrive, and make a copy for the parent to take home. Put the original in the child’s file.
If the injury is bad enough to need medical attention, make sure that comes first. Call 911, then parents, and fill out the incident form after the child has received care. Remember, the child’s safety and well being comes before paperwork.
Having a plan is important because some injuries can prove to be worse after they happen. Many people don’t realize that a child’s bone is fractured until the child complains for more than a day, and concussions aren’t always obvious. If the doctor has an incident report, (s) he can more easily treat an injury that doesn’t present itself right away.
Safety is important, and observing safe handling practices with children and injury prevention are key, but if it does happen, it’s best to be prepared for any situation.