Daycare workers provide an invaluable service by caring for children when parents work or handle other tasks. This work can involve various hazards that may lead to injuries. Injured workers may need medical care and have to take time off work while healing.
To mitigate work-related risks, daycare facilities should prioritize worker training on safe lifting techniques, enforce cleanliness and organization, ensure proper immunization and health checks for children and support workers to manage stress. All daycares and employees should understand the possible risks that they face so that they can mitigate them to the greatest possible extent.
Physical injuries from lifting and bending
Daycare workers often spend significant time lifting and carrying children, bending down to pick up toys or crouching to be at a child’s level. These activities can lead to musculoskeletal disorders such as sprains, strains and back injuries. Over time, the repetitive nature of these tasks can also contribute to chronic conditions and cumulative trauma injuries.
Slips, trips, and falls
The daycare environment is filled with potential slip, trip and fall hazards. Spilled liquids, toys on the floor and even children can be tripping hazards. Such incidents can result in injuries, from minor bruises to severe fractures. Consistently cleaning and tidying up the classrooms and play areas can help to keep everyone safe.
Bites, scratches, and other injuries from children
Despite their age and size, children can cause physical harm. Daycare workers may experience bites, scratches or hits from the children they care for, particularly if they are having a difficult day or struggling with behavior issues. The daycare should have guidelines for handling these challenges, including protocols that can lead to a particularly dangerous child being dismissed from care.
While not a physical injury, it’s important to note the psychological stress that can be a hazard associated with daycare work. Dealing with children’s behavioral issues, managing parental expectations and maintaining a high-energy, attentive demeanor can contribute to burnout and stress-related health issues.
Any daycare worker who suffers injuries at work will need medical care. Workers’ compensation should cover the cost of that care and certain other expenses related to one’s injuries. Seeking legal guidance can help an injured worker get the benefits they’re due.