Friday, March 2, 2012

Safety for Your Children's Programs

Before your first day of VBS, Bible Club, or Sunday School, make sure you have Registration Cards for each of your classes. You can get Registration Cards for Honeybees, Cubby Bears, and All-Stars for Jesus here. Give a Registration Card to parents when they register their children and have them fill one out for each child. The card should contain emergency information and a place to list allergies and other medical conditions of your students. For any child with allergies, create a special, brightly colored name badge with the allergies listed so all leaders and helpers are aware of the allergies and don't inadvertently give the child something that might cause an allergic reaction.

Safety Guidelines for Preschoolers

To ensure that each child's experience in your class is a safe and happy one, each leader and helper should know and practice these simple safety guidelines. These are geared toward preschoolers, but many are applicable to all classes.

  • Beware of balloons. A piece of broken balloon or an uninflated balloon can easily be sucked into a child's windpipe and cause suffocation.
  • Make sure all leaders and helpers know basic first-aid techniques and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, including rescue procedures for choking. Encourage them to learn CPR for children also.
  • Have an established way of summoning the parents out of their class or activity in case of an emergency or inconsolable crying. If the parents are not in the church at the time your class meets, know how to reach them.
  • Do not release children to anyone but the designated parent(s) at the close of class, unless the parent has notified you in advance.
  • Do not ever let a child out of your sight. Do not allow a child to go to the bathroom or leave the room without an adult.
  • Latch the classroom door with a latch that is above the children's reach but can be opened from both sides of the door.
  • Attach chimes or bells to the classroom door so you will hear when it is opened.
  • Keep all electrical plugs capped when not in use.
  • Keep all plastic bags high above children's reach. When using plastic bags for dirty diapers, be sure to dispose of them out of reach.
  • Do not carry any medications into the classroom in your purse or pocket. Put your purse, including makeup, nail files, sharp objects, and the like, on a high shelf.
  • If you have plants in your classroom, be sure they are not poisonous.
  • Do not allow children to run with anything in their hands.
  • Do not give any medication to someone else's child. Ask the parent to come back at the appointed time to give the medication.
  • Do not have any glass bottles, drinking glasses, or other breakable objects in the room.
  • Toys and supplies should be no smaller than 1-1/2" in any dimension to prevent swallowing. If the object can fit through a cardboard toilet paper tube, it is too small.
  • If a child is injured, however minor, administer first aid and call the parent to the classroom immediately. 
  • Wash a cut under running water, letting the cut bleed. Cover the cut with gauze and call the parent to apply antiseptic.
  • You should have a fully equipped, standard first-aid kit in your room.
  • For additional safety tips, including first-aid and playground safety, visit the National Safety Council website at