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Safe & Nurturing Environments

Goals of the Dimension:

  • Every child lives in a home without physical, social or environmental health hazards, including freedom from abuse or neglect.
  • Every child lives in a neighborhood without health hazards such as congestion, pollution, noise, traffic, drug and human trafficking.
  • Every child lives in a neighborhood with safe parks that encourage play and positive interaction with other children.
  • Every child is free from hunger and provided a nutritional diet.

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 or her development. Second, we must create a game plan on addressing this vital aspect of a child's growth and development. Below are some suggestions for areas to begin.

1. Healthy Eating

2. Childproofing Your Home

Remember that once a child starts crawling, it's time for parents to crawl, too. Evaluate your house at the child's level to discover potentially dangerous items and situations. Children are fascinated with electrical outlets, cabinet doors, and kitchen appliances such as the stove. Outlet covers and door locks are a parent's new best friend. Also, store chemicals out of reach and have information and emergency numbers clearly posted in case of an emergency. Don't forget about proper safeguards around the swimming pool! Ensure that the pool has appropriate fencing that a child cannot unlock.

12 Safety Devices

3. Playground Safety

Being outside is wonderful for a child's sensory development, and the local park is a great spot for families. Evaluate the playground and select equipment that is age and size appropriate.

Each year, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground.

Use this simple checklist to help make sure your local community or school playground is a safe place to play.

Playground Safety Checklist

Additional Resources:

Castle - The Parenting Professionals

Harvest Food & Outreach Center

Indian River Habitat for Humanity

IRC Recreation Department

What to do in a Poisoning Emergency

Complete a Whole Child Profile to access appropriate resources for your family!