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Risk assessment


sooty99
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We have had a little boy (3 1/2) start our nursery last week and we need to put a risk assessment in place for him. He has unilateral deafness, which is not really the issue. There are obviously other needs, so we'll put him straight on the SEND register and do an IEP etc. He is putting EVERYTHING in his mouth and climbing onto chairs to reach things on the side. He will get down when asked, but hard to watch him all the time with 38 children.

Any advice/risk assessments welcome please

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is not something i have needed to risk assess for, but didn't want to read and just leave..

 

We however have similar challenges and although it's hard just Staff Vigilance is all we can use. It would be unfair to remove all chairs or objects that are a risk to one child, or to isolate this child in any way. So what else can we do?!

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Thank you. I have done exactly what you said and used a common sense approach, e.g. tell him to remove items from mouth! And be more vigilant when he is in your room! We haven't had a child with such issues before. And got lots of visuals ....

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If he is putting things in his mouth at this age you might want to consider chew toys (with parents permission) this means that every time he wants to explore with his mouth he does so on something you want him to! He may have missed some sensory information due to his other difficulties. Does he have any hearing? Are there other areas for him to climb on...maybe re-iterate by leading him from chair to climbing area each time he gets on chair? Musical instruments may be a big hit especially those with good vibrations...ooh suddenly feel the need to sing and jump on a surf board :P;)

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If he is putting things in his mouth at this age you might want to consider chew toys (with parents permission) this means that every time he wants to explore with his mouth he does so on something you want him to! He may have missed some sensory information due to his other difficulties. Does he have any hearing? Are there other areas for him to climb on...maybe re-iterate by leading him from chair to climbing area each time he gets on chair? Musical instruments may be a big hit especially those with good vibrations...ooh suddenly feel the need to sing and jump on a surf board :P;)

Some brilliant ideas. He climbs to reach things on side he fancies the look of! No awareness of danger .... Hearing is okay really. Fine on one side. And he wears a hearing aid. What sort of chew toy? He is very vulnerable and may be taken off mum. No stimulation/toys at all. So we need to monitor if this is the cause of delays or not. x

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try here

 

http://www.sensetoys.com/P1600M465861?fld_search=biting

this is only one of lots of varieties !

 

Do you have a sensory consortium type service in your area...you may be able to borrow a hearing loop for circle times or a personal one (that clips on) for when you are playing games or giving instructions.

 

I guess in light of the info try to go back to basics...filling and emptying/transporting/ open ended play ...let him explore and discover with support and not too much interference where poss! ;)

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try here

 

http://www.sensetoys.com/P1600M465861?fld_search=biting

this is only one of lots of varieties !

 

Do you have a sensory consortium type service in your area...you may be able to borrow a hearing loop for circle times or a personal one (that clips on) for when you are playing games or giving instructions.

 

I guess in light of the info try to go back to basics...filling and emptying/transporting/ open ended play ...let him explore and discover with support and not too much interference where poss! ;)

SALT involved so will try and see what they can offer us. Will ask about sensory consortium service.

Thanks so much

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Some nice ideas to allow a child to safely do the things he likes to do. I guess if they enjoy doing these things then who are we to stop them? It is a case of allow them to do it safely or to try to discourage it. I prefer to discourage children from putting toys into their mouth and i understand this can be more difficult when a child has additional needs.

 

I feel giving a child something soft and safe is managing the risk, but it is not managing the behaviour, that ideally, i would want to discourage. Although sometimes you might not have much choice :(

 

I hope things get easier for you and your staff and that the child is safe and well

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Some nice ideas to allow a child to safely do the things he likes to do. I guess if they enjoy doing these things then who are we to stop them? It is a case of allow them to do it safely or to try to discourage it. I prefer to discourage children from putting toys into their mouth and i understand this can be more difficult when a child has additional needs.

 

I feel giving a child something soft and safe is managing the risk, but it is not managing the behaviour, that ideally, i would want to discourage. Although sometimes you might not have much choice :(

 

I hope things get easier for you and your staff and that the child is safe and well

There are lots of reasons for children to chew...most are not to do with negative behaviour! It can be caused by stress/jaw issues/dyspraxia/lack of chewing food etc etc. All children will need to go through a stage of chewing...if they have not done this by 2/2 and a half then they may do it at a later stage...just like those children who do not crawl have to learn to do this at a later.

Trying to stop them doing it may not be helpful in the long run (they may start to use children to chew on for instance!) It is quite often a short phase if left to its own devises ;)

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I don't want to sound confrontational all the time but to say ALL children will put things in their mouth at some stage is inaccurate. I have 3 children myself and NONE have gone through this "stage" except a teething ring was used when they where about 2?! That is understandable of course and to help with the pain.

 

The reason's you listed, these of course can play a factor with children feeling the need to chew on something. These reasons can also cause some children to get into the habit of doing it. This then becomes a comforting habit, that in my opinion can be a negative habit, due to obvious reasons. It can also be a sensory habit for some children. They like the feel or sounds of putting things into their mouth. So they are now doing it for enjoyment and not because they need to do it.

 

Crawling is something a child does to move around and is essential in children's development, even though it does have big risks involved. Chewing on objects is not essential to development, so should be avoided if possible to stop the risk of choking. Chewing on food is another matter!

 

In this case, it is hard to tell if this behaviour is helping the child or is just a habit but i would still try to discourage it, if it causes any risks to the child. Nothing is more essential than breathing! :o

 

Children do bite other children, this is common, but this is usually either when they are too young or unable to understand or they get angry and "lash out" i don't think it becomes a comforting habit, and it is soon discouraged by a reaction from the other child and/or an adult that witnesses it.

 

So what's the solution? Giving this child safer options is one. Discouraging the behaviour is another. Any others?

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I hope you aren't being confrontational just expressing your opinion aren't you ...or do I need to duck? :P

I am very used to being questioned about my opinions...

 

I have to stick to my all children statement because I believe it to be true....they may do it at 6 months or at 6 years but without this learning they do not know where their mouth is....how hard to bite....what is soft/hard etc etc using teething rings not only comforts them but is also a method of sorting out their jaw for eating proper solid food too . There is plenty of information about this a quick google will back it up

 

Chewing is indeed essential to development because without it your gag reflex can be less efficient

 

Quote from an article.....

"Even adults have their MOUTH-TOYS. They chew on the end of a pen, chew gum, and smoke cigarettes. School-age children chew erasers, crunch hard candy, and hold pencils between their teeth. Many older children who lack experience with mouthing will not make a comfortable transition to textured foods without oral-sensory experience with non-food objects. Children who have sensory integrative problems often need oral stimulation for self-organization. Toys that are more "age appropriate" can be selected. Small Sesame StreetTM or DisneyTM figures are popular toys for children in preschool and kindergarten. Action figures are enjoyed by children in elementary school. Well-strung necklaces offer opportunities for casual oral manipulation. Exploration of shape and size in a set of spoons or cups can be helpful and interesting to teenagers."

 

Last year we had a child whose mother died...she was very stressed as you can imagine...she started to chew everything....by substituting a chew toy for her she was able to de-stress and soon she didn't need it, but for a few months it really helped.

 

Off course I wouldn't allow a child to put dangerous items in their mouth ,like a marble for instance, but then a marble wouldn't be much fun to chew on!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finsleymaid I back up your theory bout children mouthing and development.

I have had a "few" children with sensory disorders that have included mouthing objects. Some of these little treasures do get sensory feedback from this action. So stopping a child putting things in their mouth will not stop the need.

Chewy toys help and find other activities such as taste or texture tasting.

Whilst waiting for funding for 1 : 1 support we use a staff tagging system. Wherever the child is playing the nearest adult will support them. When they move areas that member of staff will make another member of staff that child is on their way in their direction.

This way there is an adult keeping the child safe by trying to prevent in playful ways inappropriate objects in their mouth.

We have a little treasure who has bitten all tyres off our cars! He also climbs on top of furniture and sees no danger in what he is doing. So do understand Broad oaks how difficult the balance is.

good luck.

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Ohh the deep, deep rabbit hole of Google.. there are people who say the Earth is flat you know.. on Google :P

 

Fair points however.. i just feel i question a lot of things and have different opinions to what i would call seasoned professionals.

 

Or another way to put it, people who have gone through our great British education system of test studies, theories and established views. I prefer to use common sense.

 

Food is a great thing to put into our mouths and learn to chew and swallow, it works for many, many species. Comforters are used to well "comfort" a child, not to teach although i can understand how some may be designed to help. Chewing on plastic is not like chewing food, as you don't quite get that crunch!

 

Children with sensory disorders i don't know too much about but it stands to reason how some might enjoy chewing on toys, for example. Biting tyres of cars can be really satisfying :P

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Ohh the deep, deep rabbit hole of Google.. there are people who say the Earth is flat you know.. on Google :P

 

Fair points however.. i just feel i question a lot of things and have different opinions to what i would call seasoned professionals.

urhumm...are you suggesting i'm old!!!!!

 

Or another way to put it, people who have gone through our great British education system of test studies, theories and established views. I prefer to use common sense.

 

I come from a business background not an education background I refer to common sense all the time!

 

Food is a great thing to put into our mouths and learn to chew and swallow, it works for many, many species. Comforters are used to well "comfort" a child, not to teach although i can understand how some may be designed to help. Chewing on plastic is not like chewing food, as you don't quite get that crunch!

 

Many children with sensory difficulties also have issues with food...so much so that they do not chew as they will often only eat a small selection of pureed food . Chewing on chew toys provides resistance.

 

Children with sensory disorders i don't know too much about but it stands to reason how some might enjoy chewing on toys, for example. Biting tyres of cars can be really satisfying :P

I have unfortunately had more than my fair share of children with sensory processing difficulties . I hope that our views have helped sooty if not I apologise. Think probably that Broad oaks and I come from a different standpoint !

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urhumm...are you suggesting i'm old!!!!!

 

No, i would not be that disrespectful, i am suggesting i have different views to what i call seasoned professionals.. and these are very experienced professionals in comparison to me. How long does it take to become a seasoned professional? Well i know some to be in their 20's, some in their 40's and even older dare i say. let's just say i believe you are a seasoned professional from the many posts you have made, and with the depth of knowledge you have in this sector.

 

 

I come from a business background not an education background I refer to common sense all the time!

 

You appear well educated in the sector, again for reasons i stated above regarding, posts made and knowledge. I would presume you have been on many educational courses in the sector. I apologise for stating that I use common sense and suggesting i use more than you! That was wrong of me and i actually meant i try to use common sense to argue against "Established Views" and what i mean by this, to be clear, is that even if 99% of the population believe something to be true, if it doesn't make sense to me, i will argue against it. Many people are brainwashed into a certain view simply because it is the "norm" throughout a person's life to believe this view. ie if every course or text book tells you one thing, you will believe it to be accurate 100%.. when in actual fact there is a chance it could be inaccurate.

 

 

Many children with sensory difficulties also have issues with food...so much so that they do not chew as they will often only eat a small selection of pureed food . Chewing on chew toys provides resistance.

 

I will take your word for this and thank you for this knowledge, you know a great deal more than me about this than i do. So to strengthen muscles in the mouth, these toys would be a huge benefit. In this actual case we don't know if this is the case of course? So i still maintain my original argument regarding a possible "negative behaviour" or bad habit to chew on toys.

 

 

I have unfortunately had more than my fair share of children with sensory processing difficulties . I hope that our views have helped sooty if not I apologise. Think probably that Broad oaks and I come from a different standpoint !

 

Like mentioned you have a vast more experience than me, basically i am very new myself to the childcare sector, so forgive my lack of experience. One of the main reasons i like to look and comment on this forum in fact. i do learn a lot from it :) - with you experiencing this for yourself, i now accept your views on these chewing toys and the benefits they can bring. Thank you for educating me on this it is always nice to listen to "seasoned professionals" :P

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Ohh just to add, i do like a good debate, and i will admit when i am wrong, sometimes, and i have a lot to learn, i accept that.

 

So back to the topic, and that is risk assessments in this scenario.

 

It can be very difficult to discourage negative actions in any child, and children with SEN can be more challenging of course.

 

I still feel most children can eventually be discouraged if persistence is made. After all most children are capable of learning. So what i am saying is that most children if physically able, their brains are able to be programmed. To keep it in it's simple form, and to sound really inhumane, of course!

 

So with this approach, is it fair to say that most children, if physically able to do many things, can eventually be taught a certain behaviour or a certain way to do something, if persistence is made.

 

So to stop this child climbing on chairs for example, or putting toys into their mouth, could be discouraged persistently, and would this eventually stop this behaviour?

Edited by BroadOaks
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