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Dangers Of Compost?


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Hi

I wonder has anyone else had a complaint about letting the children use potting compost?

I bought potting compost and put it inthe sand tray. As part of an activity the children were digging potatoes and carrots out of it. Now we are going to use it to plant bulbs and flowers. However I had a phone call today from our regional health and safety executive telling me there had been an anonymous complaint about us using thsi with children. Neither they nor my LEA's health and safety officer were aware of any problems but someone obviously thinks so . Any advice? :o

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We have used it in the past, but I am sure it has to be a particular sort, so maybe some of it has something not very nice in it. Just cant think of what it needs to be!!!

 

As a resource though, it is listed in ideas from our Early Years

 

Just thought. Are the children using little gardening gloves?

Edited by Guest
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We've often used compost in the sand/water trough and have never had a problem or any complaints. The children love hunting for minibeasts (plastic!) and looking at them with bug viewers. At the end of the week they pot up seeds or bulbs to take home.

 

Karrie

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we too use it indoors and children have an area outdoors filled with soil they use to dig in search for worms snails etc. no complaints even about the muddy state they sometimes go home in, parents are all well aware we are a messy lot when they see us covered in it too.

 

Inge

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We have used it on the floor in a big pile on plastic sheet. the children loved it they were so mucky it was marvelous. I would put a notice on your parent board saying that the Health and safety people had been in touch because of an anonymous complaint and ask that parent to come forward to discuss their concerns. they probably won't but at least the rest of the parents will know that you do take things seriously. tell them that it is the sort bought in bags and so is as clean as compost can be!!!! :D:oxD did you have one child who got particularly dirty and had very nice clothes on?? it was probably them have to do the washing.

you could also take it as a excuse to ask parents to come forward if they have any worries or concerns about item that you use, and also re-inforce that please do not put good clothes on as you cannot guarantee cleanliness.

Don't take it personally as long as the children enjoyed it and no one has come back allergic to anything, what is the harm. if a child was to play in the dirt at home it is more likely to catch some thing than with clean :D compost!!!

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The only things that I can think of is that there are some concerns about compost wich contains peat, but these are concerns about damaging the environment rather than that it is intrinsically dangerous. Another is that some compost contains cocoa fibre, and this is dangerous for dogs and can poison them, but not humans otherwise we wouldn't be able to eat chocolate , dogs mustn't. It might also be that they thought that it was from a compost heap which has potential to be a problem if they are not using gloves, but bagged conmpost is sterilised so should be fine.

I don't know..... as if we didn't have enough to do without all these scares.

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Guest alisonjayne

We use compost but a staff member who used to work in a garden centre said it could pose a hazzard and said that we needed to keep it sprayed with water as it could be inhaled when dry. We just did a risk assessment on it and use it all the time. It's a great resource.

 

Ali

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Hi Debrand - welcome to the forum!

 

We too use compost with our Reception children and have had no complaints (they do wear gloves). We also use well-rotted horse manure in our vegetable patch (which I would have thought was more of an issue!).

Didn't the H&S executive tell you the details of the complaint?

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