When you place your child in day care, you do so under the assumption that they will be safe. You want to know that your child is free from any type of harm, including that from dangerous toys or accessories. You also want to make sure that the place is sanitary. Children touch everything, and viruses can spread quickly if their surroundings are not kept clean.

To ensure that your child remains safe while not in your care, parents should look for signs that their care provider is keeping up to the standards you expect. Some of these “signs” include: 

1. Look at the outdoor equipment. Does it look rugged and well worn? While it is to be expected that play items will be well-used, you need to know that your child care dollars are going for upkeep as well as payroll. If the equipment looks too used, chances are it is not safe.

2. Look at the toys inside. Do the toys seem age-appropriate for the children? Some toys can present choking hazards or have sharp edges. These are dangerous to very small children.

3. Look at the infant area. This is especially important since babies can easily be harmed and catch viruses. Does this area contain:

*Does the baby play yard have removable mats and fabric? You want your infant to be in a play yard that can easily be washed and cleaned. Is a top sanitary precaution.  

*Heavy objects? As infants start to grow, they begin to reach and pull themselves up. Large bookcases and other items of this nature can easily topple over on infants, causing great harm.

*Hand sanitizer? You want your care providers to have clean hands when they are interacting with your baby.

*Crib sheets. Are the cribs or bassinets being used look and smell clean? Do they have removable sheets? You do not want your baby sleeping in an area that cannot be easily cleaned.

*Stuffed animals or large blankets in sleeping areas. Babies should never be placed to sleep with a large comforter or stuffed animal. This can cause suffocation.
4. Children’s furniture. Do the tables and chairs appear to be the right size for the children? Are they well-worn and seem to be wobbly? Are they made of metal? All of these things could pose a risk to your child.

While this may seem a little overprotective, it is not. Day care centers are obligated to keep your child safe, and that includes making sure that the equipment that they use, toys they provide, and their cleanliness level all meet specific standards.

If you have any concerns about any of these issues, or other things that you may have noticed, you should take the time to talk with the center about the problems. In many cases, the problem can be quickly resolved. If not, you may find that you need to search for more qualified care providers for your child.

Researcher and author Nickey Williams writes this article to create child safety awareness. The washable baby play yard is part of the Shiloh by InGenuity collection. Fabrics simply zip off in less than a minute for machine washing and you can swiftly fold & go without extracting the bassinet, making this product extremely convenient.