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Summer Safety


Most of us can agree that we are sort of "programmed" to get a little lax and laid back during the summer months. Twelve years of "taking summers off" while growing up will do that!

In some professions, embracing a more relaxed attitude for three months might be okay, but in child care it is a recipe for disaster.

At our Center, we hold a staff meeting or training session every summer to give our staff a few reminders about summer safety in the child care setting. These meetings are helpful because, just like anything else, our staff members may already know a lot about the topic - but the meetings serve to update the info and also to bring it to the forefront of their minds.

Topics to touch on include:
Cell Phones - Ugh. If cell phones are still an issue in your Center you MUST put a stop to it. You also want to make sure that staff members do not take their personal cell phones with them on Field Trips if the Center provides cell phones for this purpose. Section 746.1203 of the Minimum Standards states: "In addition to the responsibilities for employees specified in this division, caregivers counted in the child/caregiver ratio must: (6) Be free from activities not directly involving the teaching, care and supervision of children such as: (D) Personal use of electronic devices, such as cell phones, MP3 players, and video games." Take it a step further and make this rule as simple and straightforward as you can so there is no gray area and update your policies to state that cell phones must be turned off and stored off of the body, i.e. in a purse, drawer or closet rather than in a pocket. In the event of personal emergencies, staff can be contacted via the main phone number of the Center.
Computers - Computer usage in classrooms (with or without internet access) by teachers and caregivers is prohibited. See "cell phones" above. Warn your staff (who may be "jonesing" for Candy Crush or Angry Birds on their cell phones) that they cannot play the children's computer or video games either. I caught one of my afterschool teachers playing video games a few times. She thought it was okay because the children had asked her to "get them to the next level" of the video game when they got stuck. Does. Not. Matter. Staff CANNOT play video games.

Heat - Summer time is hot in Texas, but children still need to get outside. Adjust the playground schedules to get them outside for short periods as early in the day as possible.  It can be a hassle to clean up, do a Name/Face Check and go outside for only ten minutes or so at a time, so suggest the idea of "Drop & Pop" ("Drop what you're doing and let's pop outside for ten, 15 or 20 minutes.") At their scheduled playground times, each classroom teacher or caregiver says, "Okay, everyone, it's time to Drop & Pop!" and the children stop what they are doing and immediately line up like they would for a fire drill. Once outside they can gather for cups of water to drink then refill them and use Dollar Store paintbrushes to "paint" the playground structures with water, pop bubbles from an inexpensive bubble machine from Walmart, get a "wet head" from the water hose before they play (bend over and let the teacher wet their heads from the back), etc. Planned activities like these will help the time pass more quickly for everyone. Then when they return to the classroom, everyone goes right back to where they were before. Easy-peasy! Obviously, as with anything new in a classroom, this idea is introduced during Circle Time where the children mime and role-play it so things go smoothly during the real thing.

Drinks - Remind teachers that when people of any age wait until they are thirsty to get a drink of water, the cells in their bodies and brains are already becoming dehydrated. For that reason, it is important to offer children drinks of water before going out or while outside as well as when they return to the classroom. A good rule of thumb is that children should drink at least half their body weight in ounces every day. If a child weighs 40 lbs., she needs to drink at least 20 ounces of water while at the Center each day. Most Centers use 6 or 8 oz. disposable cups. Do the math.

Summer time is fun time, and it is even more enjoyable for everyone - especially the Director -  

when children do not get sick or injured at the child care center.

Heat Exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. The warning signs of heat exhaustion: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. The skin may be cool and moist. Pulse will be fast and weak and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it will progress to heat stroke. Teachers and caregivers should also keep an extra eye on any children who spent the weekend at the water park or lake as well since the time spent in the sun can be cumulative in some cases of heat exhaustion.


Cool the body. Get the person out of the heat and into a cool environment. If air conditioning is not available, fan the person. Gently cool the person with a garden hose or in a cool shower or apply cool compresses or give a sponge bath. You do not want to make the person shiver. Shivering is the body's way of producing heat to warm the body.

Rehydrate. Give cool, non-alcoholic beverages if the person is alert.

Rest. The person should rest for the remainder of the day.

Note: Because heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, we suggest calling 911 to be safe. At the very least, a child who experiences heat exhaustion at the child care center should be sent home after receiving first aid so his family can keep an eye on him.


Heat Stroke is more serious than heat exhaustion and 911 must be called immediately. Warning signs vary but may include: an extremely high body temperature (103 or higher); red, hot, dry skin (no sweating); rapid strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea or vomiting; confusion; and unconsciousness. Dry skin when you expect someone to be sweaty is a red flag!


Call 911 immediately.

Then begin the same treatment as for heat exhaustion (see above).

However, do not give anything by mouth is the person is not fully conscious.


Obviously the best way to prevent any heat related illness is to be sure that staff members interact and observe the children while outside instead of standing in one place and/or talking to other staff members. When caregivers are aware of each and every child they are more apt to notice the early signs of heat related illness.


Playground Safety vs. Teacher Comfort - When we spend time on the playground when it is so hot outside, it is natural that many teachers and caregivers will be prone to stay in one spot rather than moving around the playground and interacting with the children. This is not okay. Children get hurt when adults fail to properly supervise them. Solution: Encourage your staff to bring items that will help them be more comfortable during outside times such as a battery operated personal fan,a spray bottle of water for face misting (The kids will love that, too!) a sun hat, an umbrella for shade, etc.


It is also more likely that your staff members will hurry to get inside when playground time is over and not walk around checking every spot where a child may get left behind. Again, this is not okay. Name/Face checks must still be performed before leaving the playground and again as soon as they are back in the classroom. Leaving a young child on the playground is never okay, but leaving him outside in extreme heat is even more dangerous. The quickest way to do a Name/Face check is for the teacher to have the children stand away from the fence or other area where the line to go inside forms, and then have them come to join the line one by one as the teacher calls their name as she also glances up to "see the face."


Water Play - If you have a pool or allow children to play in sprinklers or wading pools at your Center, you must train your staff on water safety. Head injuries from slipping on wet grass or a wet patio, or jumping or diving into shallow water can be very serious. Also, water play tables are better for very young children than wading pools due to the dangers of dry drowning (inhaling a little water into the lungs and dying later as a result), or because they will inevitably drink the water  and get Giardia (a severe form of diarrhea requiring a prescription) or other illnesses that are transmitted by fecal contact.

Swimmer's Ear is an infection in the outer ear canal brought on by water that remains in the ear after water play, creating a moist environment that aids bacterial growth. It can be prevented by using  a homemade solution of one part vinegar to one part alcohol in the ears after water activities. Use an eyedropper to squirt one teaspoon (5 cc) of the solution into the ear and then let it drain back out. Place a folded towel on the tabletop and have the children take turns coming to lie their heads on the towel with one ear up, count to five and then turn the other ear up while the first ear drains and count to five, then turn the head once more to allow that ear to drain. Easy-squeezy! Check with your licensing representative to see if parents must provide the solution and sign it in like regular medicine, or if your Center can provide and use the solution with parents' permission after water play activities.

Field Trips, while fun and educational, involve higher risk to children and require increased supervision by adults - both in number of adults and in the attention paid to the children. Injuries and serious incidents are more likely to occur when a child's surroundings change or when there is change in routine. When children are excited or busy playing in unfamiliar areas, they are more likely to forget safety measures unless they are closely supervised. Remember, too, that ratios for field trips are based on the age of the youngest child in the group - not the median age; and caregivers with current training in CPR and first aid with rescue breathing and choking must be present on the field trip.    


2014 Summer Training Conferences

Friday Management Session - Director's Boot Camp #23   

"The ABC'S of a Successful School Year Launch"  

$99.00 per person  8:30am-1:30pm (5 clock hours) Learn all the best ways to prepare your school and team for a successful launch to the new school year! This includes marketing your programs, staffing for your classes as well as parent involvement, hiring, and building set up. The more prepared you are as a management team for the stumbling stones that are  back to school, the better your school will be. A look at the new minimum standards will also help with this transition process. Worksheets will be given for use at your school.   

Saturday Staff Session-/$29.00 per person

9:00am-1:00pm (5 Clock hrs. each attendee will receive a 1 hr. take-away training module)
(Group Discount: 10 or more staff- $25.00 per person)
*KEYNOTE* "Navigating Difficult Parents"
In this energetic training, attendees will learn

Effective Classroom Management.  
This includes what it means to have a Developmentally Appropriate Classroom, Managing Difficult Behaviors in Children, Enhancing the Classroom Environment, Partnering with Parents & MUCH MORE!


Fri. June 27th & Sat. June. 28th

Southfork Hotel- 1600 N. Central Expressway


Fri. July 11th  & Sat. July 12th

Hilton Hotel-6780 Southwest Freeway


Fri. July 25th & Sat. July 26th

Holiday Inn Park Cities- 6070 N. Central Expressway


Fri. Aug. 1st& Sat. Aug. 2nd

Hilton Garden Inn- 2409 Texmati Drive


Fri. Aug. 8th & Sat. Aug. 9th

Holiday Inn- 318 W. Cesar Chavez Blvd.


Fri. Aug 15th & Sat Aug 16th

Radisson Fossil Creek-2540 Meacham Blvd.


Fri. Aug.22nd & Sat. Aug. 23rd

Wyndham Garden-3401 South IH-35


Visit www.thechildcareconsultinggroup.com to download 

the registration form under the CONFERENCE tab,  

or call 972-979-0282 for more information
on these exciting training sessions.


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This beautiful school is located in Collin County and currently
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infants-elementary. The convenient location is accessible by
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See you next month with more new and exciting ideas and information!


Staff News Header


Click to download this month's Staff Handout

"Fun In the Sun
With Your
Favorite Friends!"

 Use this handout to motivate teachers and caregivers to jump out of a lazy summer funk with some simple ideas for fun in the sun!



Great ideas for making sure children are not left behind in a hot van or bus:

*A ribbon, sign, or stuffed animal, placed at the back of the vehicle, that the bus driver must retrieve and return to the office upon returning form the field trip.

*An "Assistant Bus Driver" (child) who wears a special visor or sash or safety vest and walks the length of the vehicle with the bus driver after field trips to double check every seat, etc. and make sure everyone got off. The "assistant" then  accompanies the bus driver to the office and makes a formal "report" that the vehicle is clear.

*"Buddy Checks" each child is assigned a buddy and they make sure that their buddies get off of the bus. 

*Name/Face Checks as soon as the children return to the classroom are required, of course, yet every year children get left in vehicles.




I Love Summer!  


(tune: "I Love the Mountains")

I love Summer.

I love the fireflies!

I love watermelon!

I love mosquito bites!

I love Summer time!

The sun is oh so bright!


Boom-de-ah-dah, Boom-de-ay!


Boom-de-ah-dah, Boom-de-ay! 




Some of our favorite ideas from Pinterest this month: 

*Animal Yoga - The teacher shows the children  photos of real animals and they discuss how the animal looks and acts. Then teacher and children work together to come up with animal poses for the children to imitate and hold for several seconds to build balance and strength.Click here for info!

*Runway Letters! Place all 26 magnetic letters in order on the board. Choose 2 or 3 kids to each steal a letter and run to the opposite side of the room with it. Everyone sings the ABC song as you point to each letter, but when you come to an empty space everyone says, "Hey! Letter __! Come back here!" And the child holding that letter runs back and replaces the letter.

*Make color mixing bottles for your Science Center that will separate again and again using Wilton Candy colors to color the water as well as the canola oil or mineral oil. Fill the small jar half full of colored water and then finish filling the other half with a different colored oil. Shake to combine and then let rest to separate!

*Copy Dancing - This game can be played with two to twenty participants, and it's as simple as it sounds. One person dances while the others copy their moves.

*Squiggle Art. Each player gets a piece of paper, makes a squiggle on it, then passes it to the next person on the teacher's signal. That child adds to the squiggle already on the paper. For extra fun the teacher can call out a direction such as left, right, front, or behind telling the children which way to pass their papers each time.

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Parent News logo

Dear Parents,

Summer time is the time for messy play and water play! Just a few reminders to ensure your kiddos enjoy all the fun things we have planned for them this month!

*Children need to wear play clothes to school  each day so that nothing is ruined by a little dirt or paint or spaghetti sauce.

*On water play days, children should wear their long-acting sweatproof sunblock and swimsuits to school, along with socks and shoes, and bring their towel, clothes and undies in a bag so they only have to change once!

*If your business or the company you work for is giving away beachballs as they advertise this summer, please snag a few for us! We'll save them for February and bring them out for some hot fun on a cold day!


  • On-site Training for Staff and Management
  • Consultation
  • Brokerage Services
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For information visit www.thechildcareconsultinggroup.com or call 972-979-0282

Previous Newsletters
April 2013 Newsletter May 2013 Newsletter
June 2013 Newsletter July 2013 Newsletter
August 2013 Newsletter September 2013 Newsletter
October 2013 Newsletter November 2013 Newsletter
December 2013 Newsletter January 2014 Newsletter
February 2014 Newsletter  

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