How to create a safe environment

A continuation of part five in the IncludED@OSHC learning journey,  safe environments.

A continuation of part five in the IncludED@OSHC learning journey,  safe environments.

There are ways to set up indoor and outdoor spaces that will help children with complex disabilities feel physically, emotionally and culturally safe. Small adjustments to environments can significantly improve safety.

Here are some ideas on how to create safe safes:

Physical safety

  • clear or widen walkways
  • remove any injury or tripping hazards (make sure equipment is packed away when not needed)
  • consider how you will supervise children who may be at risk of running away – think about your entry and exit points and how your area is enclosed 
  • select softer toys that are less likely to cause injury if stood on or thrown
  • provide safe play equipment for a range of ability levels, such as children with mobility or neurological conditions.

Emotional safety

  • make sure children feel safe to express their feelings, which will be recognised and addressed
  • make sure they know everyone cares about them and is there to support them 
  • set up ‘emotion charts’ so children can visually indicate how they are feeling
  • get specialist training so you can effectively support children who have experienced trauma – many children with complex disabilities have also experienced trauma.

Cultural safety

  • create a space that reflects the children’s cultural diversity – put up decorations that celebrate cultural events and have books that tell stories about children with disabilities and from different cultural backgrounds.