A Place of Our Own
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Health & Safety : Learn
Health & Safety: Learn A child care provider's most basic responsibility is to make sure children are safe and healthy.

Ideas, Issues and Advice
Things You Do
  • Create a safe physical space – Covering sharp corners and electrical outlets, storing dangerous household chemicals or medications out of reach, keeping choking hazards away from infants and toddlers, letting children know which spaces are off limits and where it is okay to play.
  • Create a safe emotional space – Helping children get along with one another, letting children know that you are there to protect and care for them.
  • Provide nutritious food.
  • Have emergency medical supplies on hand and know how to use them.
  • Monitor children’s health and development and reporting anything unusual to parents.
  • Help families learn how to keep children well and find the health care they need. – Provide reminders about immunizations, wellness check-ups, etc.
  • Care for children’s special needs – Know how to give needed medications or provide other simple health care.
  • Provide opportunities for children to exercise – It doesn’t have to be formal. Young children have a natural energy and most will move if given the chance. Activities that involve their whole bodies moving help children learn balance, coordination, and muscle control as well as keeping them physically fit.
Things You Help Children Learn to Do
  • Safety routines – Teach children what to do in a fire or weather emergency or when someone gets hurt. If you use a computer, establish safety rules that protect children online, like never giving out names and addresses.
  • Hygiene routines – Teach children to wash their hands after using the bathroom, brush their teeth, etc.
  • Balance limits and risks – It is important for children to take some risks. They gain confidence by trying and mastering new things. At the same time, we don’t want them to get hurt. Make rules about what kinds of things children are allowed to do by themselves (like playing in your sandbox) and which they need to do with you (like climb a tree, walk on a wall, or cross the street).
  • Get along with others – Help children learn ways to solve conflicts without hitting, pushing, or biting.
  • Express themselves – Children who know how to use words to tell others what they want are less likely to hit or bite.
  • Eat healthy foods – Teach children which foods are the best to eat and which should be saved for special times.

To find out more about how you can be sure the children in your care stay healthy and safe, you can watch A Place of Our Own and visit these websites:

Related Links

Great games and resources on fire safety, strangers, safe playgrounds, and more from the people who make Sesame Street. Check out other Safety Solutions on the site for information and activities on topics such as immunization, allergies, visits to the doctor, and nutrition.

In connection with PBS’ programs for children, this part of the PBS website offers a variety of short and easy-to-read articles and tip sheets on a range of health and safety topics.


This resource from the PBS series, The Whole Child, provides a chart summarizing physical development at various ages and stages.


PBS, in cooperation with the American Library Association, provides annotated book recommendations searchable by topic for both children and adults on a range of topics relating to health and safety, child development, and more.


View Other Topics
Early Learning Areas
Play & Creativity
Child Development
Social & Emotional Development
Special Needs
Child Care Management
Downloads (Get Reader)
Tips on Preventing Conflicts pdf
Tips on Resolving Conflicts pdf
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