January 10th, 2018
Healthy and Safe Environment.
A healthy and safe environment for toddlers or infants should have the necessary setup to prevent physical harm to the child and promote the developmental requirements of a child. The development of a toddler is rapid and is partly influenced by the health care givers and the environment the child is in. These two factors (healthcare givers and environment) are instrumental in stimulating the social, rational, emotional and physical development of a toddler or infant. The primary goal of a healthcare giver is to maintain a serene and hygiene environment that can minimize spread of diseases among the infants and toddlers bearing in mind that their immune system is still not strong and not able to fight some diseases like diarrhea (Ronald, 1995).
Personal hygiene on the part of healthcare givers is a must to be maintained at all times. In order to keep the environment sterile, the small practices that people neglect and take for granted like washing hands regularly after visiting the toilet or before handling a child are emphasized. Uniform should be worn at all times when one is on duty. This uniform should only be worn once, washed and then sterilized for next use. Personal clothing usually carry a lot of germs from the outside world which can be normal for an adult who has a fully developed immune system and to minimize transmission of infections to infants and toddlers, personal clothes are discouraged from being worn when one is on duty and if they are worn, one should cover them with overalls or aprons (Joan, 1997). The hair should be covered at all times for ladies to prevent it from mixing with foods and drinks meant for the infants. This is necessary because accidental mixture may lead to transmission of fatal infections and ill health on the toddlers and infants.
Diapers and napkins play a big role in maintaining cleanliness among the infants and toddlers since they have not learned how to use the toilet for grown ups. Diaper changing procedures are always lectured to all health care givers and incase one has forgotten, they are always posted on walls. Diapers should be changed promptly after soiling for total hygiene standards to be maintained. There is no fixed schedule for changing diapers because soiling of diapers is a nature call and the appropriate time to change them is when they are soiled. Diapers are not supposed to be rinsed in the toilet but when they have fecal matter in them, it should be disposed in the toilet and then put in moisture proof bags ready for laundering or disposition (Ronald, 1995). In certain cases, staff members use disposable gloves to change diapers after which, they should be discarded immediately and the hands washed thoroughly with soap and running water. The process of changing diapers takes place on tables that are supposed to be washed and sanitized with hot waters and disinfectants to thwart off any accumulation of bacteria that can cause diarrhea.
The exclusion policy is very important in health care for infants and toddlers and it should be followed to the latter by staff members at all times. It may mean preventing a possible outbreak of disease among the infants and toddlers especially when communicable diseases like measles are involved. This policy gives guidelines on the course of action incase of an outbreak of diseases and how each case should be handled. Incase a staff member is taken ill, she should not be allowed to handle the children or even come near them since she will transmit the same disease to them. In the same way, a child who has been taken ill should not be allowed to mix with others and precautionary measures should be taken for segregation and a 24hr observation incase the infection progresses to an epidemic stage which may result in death (Janet, 2005).
Daily health check by health care providers is a must so to monitor the growth of the infants. For monitoring of the health of the toddlers and infants, strict adherence to the prescribed diet by the clinic’s physician and the toddlers’ parents shall be followed. All the infants below the age of six months are bottle fed and the bottles should not be left with the children to minimize cases of choking and ear infection (Joan, 1997). It is also important to have each bottle labeled with toddler’s name to avoid sharing of feeding bottles among the children which may act as a deterrence of transmission of communicable diseases. There are various infant food formulas and how they should be prepared and what temperatures they should be fed to the child and therefore they should be followed with a religious zeal. Any food that remains after a feeding session should be discarded to avoid contamination.
These are some of the guidelines necessary to maintain a safe and healthy environment for the development of infants and toddlers especially in a child care setup. For complete development of the child, a personal relationship between the healthcare staff members and the child should be developed and this can only happen when enough time is devoted for the children and at least some time taken to hold the babies and play with them. Observing the above regulations will ensure a sure development of the child.
Elizabeth, D. (2003). Dimensions of Human Behavior: The Changing Life Course. New York: Sage Publication.
Francesca, C., & Stephenie, P. (2005). Authentic relationships in group care for infant and toddler. New York: Jessica Kingsley Publication.
Janet, G. (2005).Optional Supplementary text: Multicultural Issues in Child Care. New York: Allycon & Beacon.
Joan, L. (1997). Village of Kindness: Providing High Quality Family Child Care. Boston: University of Wisconsin- Extension Publication.
John, R. (1995). Caring for infants and toddlers in groups. Michigan: Michigan University Press.
Patricia, M. (2001). Early intervention services for infants, toddlers, and their families. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.