Safe and Nurturing Environment

Nurturing Environments

Parents strive to do everything just right for their children-and creating a safe and nurturing environment is as important as ensuring that the child is fed and clothed. But what exactly does “safe and nurturing environment” mean, and what can parents do to achieve this goal? First, we must recognize, individually and as a community, that a child’s environment at home, in their neighborhood, and at school, play an important part in his development. Second, we must create a game plan on addressing this vital aspect of a child’s growth and development.

The Crib

  • Place the crib away from windows, make sure the crib bars are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
  • Make sure that the corner posts are not 1/16 inch higher than the head board.
  • Make sure that the mattress fits snugly.
  • Make sure that the crib sides are locked in their highest position when the baby is in the crib, and that the mattress is lowered and the bumper removed as soon as baby can pull up and stand.
  • Infant sleepwear should be made of flame resistant materials.
  • Do not put pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like bumper pads, or pillow-like stuffed toys in the crib.

The Nursery

  • Easily accessible lighting and nightlights
  • Toys should be in good repair, safe and age appropriate
  • The floor should be clear of toys
  • Install outlet covers on all outlets
  • Install good electrical cords which are placed along the wall
  • Keep all surfaces and walls clear of lead dust
  • Old paint should be removed and replaced with lead-free paint
  • Make sure window locks function properly and windows have functional and clean screens
  • Make sure that all window blinds have short cords that baby can not reach
  • Make sure you have a functioning smoke detector in close proximity
  • Do not leave baby unattended on changing table or bed
  • Create a family escape plan in case of fire or other emergency

The Home

  • Provide play structures
  • Ensure play is adequately supervised
  • Ensure there are no flammable products accessible to children
  • Install and maintain functioning smoke detectors and CO2 detectors
  • Install locks on windows, doors, cabinets and drawers
  • Secure poisons, toxic substances and toxic plants
  • Secure firearms

The Yard: Security and Health

  • Install fences or other protective measures around water hazards and pools
  • Store all yard poisons, fertilizer, lawn equipment and pest control items in an area that in inaccessible to children

Whole Child is not another program, but a philosophy that uses strategic planning, performance measurement and broad-based community engagement to build communities where everyone works together to make sure children thrive.