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Ice!


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We just had the PLA in today who asked why we not using the outdoor area. We have a small patch of concrete as our outdoor area (exciting I know) It is covered with ice because of the snow and is lethal! We risk assessed that it was ridiculously dangerous to use it today so gave them extra time in our play hall where they can run around but it's inside. PLA not happy with this and said we should take them out so we did and within a couple of minutes children were falling over and hurting themselves, it was silly. I explained this but got "free flow should be available and children should manage their own risk taking" Whats everyones opinion on this??

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We didn't let our children out in the garden today either, like you concrete area was leathal! (I ended up on my bum!!). We are a private pre-school in school grounds and even though the caretaker had put grit down it was too icy and the school kept their children in aswell!!

 

Kris

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As the responsible adults, you do need sometimes to make the judgment, after your risk assessment, that something is not safe and discontinue it. You DO have free flow but in the weather conditions today, it was not safe to go outside.

 

How can little children possibly manage that risk for themselves?

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I am all for children taking risk and this is and area we have really worked on and it works!!! BUT our outside was compacted snow that was at laest 5-6 inches thick that had frozen, I went out at 7 am this morning and landed on my bottom as we need to go down a slope (just a small one) So today I would have argued with anyone I felt the risk was too high not just for the children but my staff (we don't bounce like children)

 

This totally goes against my ethos of outside play to close this area but it really was not safe. I don't have any grit salt etc, or a shovel as someone has taken it over the weekend. I will risk assess again tomorrow and make my common sense judgement then.

 

We are a pack away in a hall, didn't see anyone from hall clearing ice in the garden or at the entry, I was told if they clear snow and someone slips they will be liable but if the leave it its nature :oxD

 

Commom sense at all times to me overides anyone!!!!

OFF HIGH HORSE NOW SORRY :( but some people who just visit our settings don't always know best

 

Big Sue

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We've been inside since the snowfall as we've a lot of snow on our roof. To access the outdoor area we have to walk under the eaves and with our huge roof the avalanche risk has been too great - we've had some big ones on the other side. We COULD go out of the other door, but as our play area is alongside the building the risk is just the same. Plus of course, there's compacted ice on the ground from our big snowfalls, plus rain and then heavy frosts then more snow, so the ground is pretty treacherous too. We've been able to keep our main entrance clear, thankfully.

So no, no freeflow for us, sometimes it's just got to be down to common sense.

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It is part of our job to keep children safe and to encourage them to take risks within a safe environment. To let them go into a skating rink is not safe. Ironically we too have been keeping children indoors for most of the day as, although our tarmac is fine now the snow has thawed, our soft safety surface holds water and freezes into a lethal surface! Ho hum.

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I think many of the groups, local authorities and the like, who end up writing comments about our settings are reading the same guidance manual.

 

If they don't see it being used, then they will state it isn't being used. Ours wrote something quite horrid about us not doing something. It ended up with me in tears, the staff mortified and the chair cross that something hadn't been done, but when we explained it is normally done, but hadn't been seen that time the focus was then put onto the report writer and the style of reporting!

 

Such a shame that there is a sever lack of praise!

 

I think that's why this forum keeps me going! Thank you everyone for listening, being there and supporting,

 

Spiral.

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EYFS makes it very clear that the requirement for outdoor play is overridden in cases of extreme weather!

 

Some settings may be able to make outdoor play happen offsite (Childminders could go to play centre, park that is not so icy etc) but not everyone can. So it is better to provide physical play indoors as you did.

 

I hope the silly PLA women apologised when she saw that you were right!

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You were 100% right.

 

Using common sense means just that. You are the professional, it's all right for outsiders to comment but you know your setting and your children.

 

Ice to me seems much more dangerous than snow as it is often invisible.

 

What would she suggest you say to parents if a child slipped and broke an ankle?

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