Nine Child Safety Tips For Ayi (and equally for all parents out there!)
When it comes to the safety of your children, they are too precious to take any risks. Children’s safety is a parents responsibility. At Ayicheng we believe that no matter where you find an Ayi, there is no substitute for providing your Ayi with personalised safety training.
1. Child safety comes first
There is nothing more important that the safety of the children you are caring for. It is more important than any inconvenience or embarrassment that arises from prioritising safety.
For Parents this means that you should be identifying risks and giving your Ayi specific training to minimise these. You should also be responsible when allocating tasks for your Ayi. Do not overwork your Ayi or give her priorities that will conflict putting the safety of your children first.
For Ayi, this means that if you are caring for children, there is no priority that is higher than their safety. Even if your employer will be annoyed with you and even if it is inconvenient for you, avoid any activities that might distract you from caring for the children. Have the courage to speak up to parents and other adults about any concerns you have, even if you feel embarrassed. Insist that children follow your safety rules even if they get angry or upset.
2. Take extra caution when cooking or serving hot food.
Kitchen accidents and burns from soup and congee are a common cause of child injuries that can leave permanent scars. Ideally children should not be allowed into kitchens. We believe in removing risks entirely. If you have young children, rather than hope your Ayi is responsible when serving hot food, tell her that she is not allowed to cook or serve congee or soup to your children. It may be delicious, but we would prefer our children did not get burnt.
3. Teach your Ayi kitchen and food safety
Kitchen safety could be a blog post in itself. It is one of the areas that you will find you Ayi could most benefit from some training. Does your Ayi know to keep knives out of reach of the children?
Make sure that your Ayi keeps your kitchen benches and sink hygienically cleaned. Perishable goods should be refrigerated at all times. Special care should be taken when handling raw chicken given the risk of bird flu.
If you have ever been to a wet market, you will know that lots of the locals will touch raw meat with their bare hands and then not wash. Teach your Ayi to wash her hands after handling any meat.
Help your ayi by ensuring there is hand soap, gloves and other cleaning materials available in your kitchen, and make sure she understands how to use them. This may seem patronising, but we have had more than 1 Ayi that did not understand the need for dishwashing liquid.
If you have young children, your Ayi needs to cut up any food into smaller pieces to reduce the risk of choking. We read a great post on another blog that had the following quote “if you are too lazy to cut up the grapes, then don’t feed you children grapes”. At Ayicheng we agree entirely, and this concept should be applied to all foods.
4. Take extra care with baths and showers
All children need to be monitored at all times when bathing or showering. There is no excuse for leaving them unattended. For parents, it is your responsibility to ensure your Ayi is aware of the risks and is watching your children at all times. It only takes an instant for a child to slip, hit their head and drown. If you have any doubts, don’t let your Ayi bath your children.
5. Stay aware and connected with the kids
By staying aware you are in the best position to avoid problems and protect the children in your care. Avoid spending time on your telephone. Engage with the children, play with them and monitor them. Be careful of getting too distracted by other tasks such as cooking or cleaning. Your highest priority needs to be the childrens safety.This does not mean you or your Ayi cannot cook and clean, but rather you should be aware of where the children are, what are they doing and preferably be able to see them at all times. If you are not aware of what the children are doing you will not be able to take preventative actions to protect them.
6. Split your attention
Don’t become so fixated on a particular task that you don’t notice what is happening around you. Whether it is using your phone, watching TV, cooking or cleaning, you need to be aware of what is going on around you at all times. Accidents happen in an instant. Avoid getting fixated on tasks by becoming use to splitting your attention between tasks. Keep track of what is happening in the house at all times while you are in charge. Notice what each of the kids you are responsible for is and what he is or she is doing.
7. Stay together
When you are outside, insist that younger children stay within your reach. Do not let toddlers go and play or hide where they cannot be seen. Teach your Ayi about road safety, don’t assume that she will understand that children will run into the middle of the road without looking for cars. You should also teach your Ayi how to safely use lifts with children. We have heard more than once about toddlers running into lifts and then the doors closing before the ayi gets in.
8. Know how to get help
For Parents, you should leave your Ayi with clear guidance for what to do if something goes wrong. They have your phone number, but does your Ayi know how to call an ambulance or the police? What about where the local hospital is? How should they get to the hospital? Do they have an alternate contact number if they cannot reach you? Do you have any friends in the building that may be able to help if something goes wrong?What about other issues like electricity, water and gas? Does your Ayi know how to contact building maintenance?
9. Learn First Aid and CPR
Parents and Ayi should take first aid and CPR classes to learn how to prevent and handle injuries and health emergencies.
There is nothing more important or precious than your children, so keep them safe!