Virtually all experts agree that good supervision can help prevent a host of injuries to minors and children. Correct supervision can avert a tragedy before it occurs and can get life-saving help to a child the instant an accident takes place. However, each year many children end up in the hospital emergency room in accidents that could have been prevented with better supervision. Supervision on its own is not enough – good quality supervision is the key to accident and injury prevention. Experts recommend a few tips for supervising children:
1) Supervise children at all times. Many individuals know that children need supervision around pools to prevent pool accidents and near drowning incidents, but all too often supervision is reserved for higher-risk activities. Unfortunately, brain injuries, broken bones, and other fatalities can occur during every day activities, too. Parents and caregivers need to ensure that children are safe at all times.
2) Add more supervision during activities that require more risks. Riskier activities – such as skiing, swimming, or contact sports – require more adult supervisors per child. Keep in mind too, that older children and minors also need supervision when taking part in riskier activities.
3) Have adults supervise, rather than older siblings. Older siblings can help with supervising, but it is important to have an adult on hand to help prevent injuries. Minors may simply not have the authority to control children and may not know what to do in the event of an accident.
4) Have at least two adults supervising at all times. More eyes means more safety, and two adults means that there is always someone supervising, even when one adult is called away to a telephone, for example. For larger groups of children, add more adults to ensure that all children are correctly supervised.
5) Avoid distractions while supervising. It is simply not possible to supervise children correctly – especially a larger group of children – while chatting, texting, watching television, or making calls. Adult supervisors should be supervising, not multitasking.
6) Change shifts and take supervising breaks frequently. Correct supervision is tiring, which is why groups of adults might want to take turns supervising children at an event or party. This way, each adult gets to enjoy some fun and can focus on keeping everyone safe while on supervision duty.