Risk -Controlling the risks
As part of managing the health and safety of Kempshott Under Fives Preschool Ltd we must control the risks. To do this we think about what might cause harm and decide whether we are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm. This is known as risk assessment and it is something we are required by law to carry out.
A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork , but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks. Our risk assessments help us decide whether we have covered all that we need to.
Outdoor risky play for all
Risky play is a natural part of children’s play, and children often seek out opportunities for engaging in challenging and so called risky play. Risky play can be defined as a thrilling and exciting activity that involves a risk of physical injury, and play that provides opportunities for challenge, testing limits, exploring boundaries and learning about injury risk (Sandseter, 2007; Little & Wyver, 2008). Activities such as climbing, sliding, balancing, jumping from heights and hanging upside down can be considered as risky. It is important that both staff and parents are aware of the importance of risky play and safety policies and regulations do not get in the way of this vital form of play.
For some children risky play activities may not come naturally to them and could need additional support or encouragement when engaging in such activities. We would observe and assess the children during free play to judge which of them (if any) need additional support with risky activities. Some ways in which we can encourage and support all the children are:
- To modify the environment as much as possible to meet the needs of each child.
- Be aware that some children may need longer to feel confident engaging in an activity, such as balancing or climbing.
- Encourage the children to help each other. Creating a buddy system to encourage co-operation can help.
- Simplify an activity, e.g. if a child is too anxious to balance on a high branch allow them to gain confidence by beginning on a low branch.