When you care for children several hours a day, accidents will happen. However, you need a process for documenting those accidents and reporting the information to parents. A childcare software with security and privacy practices can help in recording and maintaining this information.
Injuries children sustain will vary from mild scrapes on the playground to broken limbs or even a concussion. For the minor scrapes and bruises, you can enter it into your childcare software’s journal for the day and send the parent a quick message. You want to show that you’re being attentive to the child and keep parents informed of minor accidents so they aren’t surprised. And yet, it probably doesn’t require much more than that.
On the other hand, more serious accidents call for more serious steps. Make sure you follow any required reporting for your state and your local licensing department. Each jurisdiction has different rules about how to record and report accidents. As a general rule though, here are some important steps you should take, though this blog does not constitute legal or medical advice.
Get medical attention when necessary
In the case of a broken bone, severe bleeding, seizure or other medical emergency, call 911 immediately. The paramedic team can walk you through any steps you should take while they make their way to you.
Follow their instructions carefully and make sure you stay by the child’s side. Other teachers and administrators should move the other children away from the area to make room for the emergency responders.
Reference any relevant medical information in your childcare software. You can reference medical information securely using the software and provide that information to emergency responders to inform their treatment.
Share information with the parents
Once the situation is under control, an administrator or teacher can call the parents. Or, if the situation does not require emergency medical attention but is more than a scrape, you should call the parents. The goal is to keep parents informed but care to the child’s needs first.
Explain what happened, how the child is doing and what the parent can expect next. It might make the child feel better to talk with their parent on the phone following an injury to help them calm down. The parent can help the child relax and go back to the normal activities if that’s an option based on their injuries.
Collect witness accounts
Ask the teachers present what happened and how the child was injured. Collect a formal statement from the teachers to document the case for your records. You should know who was present on the playground or in the classroom when the child was injured.
Check to see if there are any differences in the accounts that your teachers provide. You want to make sure you’re getting the full and accurate story for liability purposes.
File an incident report
Your incident report will likely be based on your state’s requirements. No matter what your state requires, you should set up your own thorough process for filing away information about more severe injuries. Most states have a two-year statute of limitations for injured parties to bring about a lawsuit against someone for negligence or personal injury.
File your incident report securely and keep the record for reference until the statute of limitations is up on the incident. Even if the child and parent leave your childcare before the end of the statute of limitations, you still could face a lawsuit within that timeframe. Be prepared with adequate recordkeeping.
iCare’s Childcare Software offers a secure way to house all information related to your childcare business. Our technology features:
- Configurable user roles so they can decide who can do or see what information
- Family privacy options that let the main guardian decide who in the family has access to which data
- Encryption of login credentials
- A highly secured AWS hosting environment