Carefully considered Risk management is what allows us to run programmes with “considered risk-taking” so that children can develop good risk assessing, fine motor skills and build confidence in their abilities outdoors. So we take this very seriously. All educators are trained in First Aid for Education and Care and always carry a comprehensive First Aid kit. Risk assessments are carried out at each site during our planning and before each session. We consult weather and tide information to keep everyone comfortable and safe. We also recommend a list of items your child will need to have a great day.
There are some risks that we may encounter during our programmes, here is some important information for you, should your child have this experience:
TICKS: We recommend that you check your child for ticks after our sessions, as they are around in our local environment. Wearing a hat throughout the day really helps reduce ticks in the scalp, which seems a common spot for kids. Other spots are armpit, groin, backs of knees and the edges of your waistband etc. Long trousers and long sleeves are good to deter ticks, as is applying an insect repellent with DEET, (use is at your discretion).
If you find a tick after one of our sessions please report it to us so we know where ticks occur. To remove a tick we recommend:
- Obtain a freeze wart treatment and follow instructions on the pack, you will see the tick freeze momentarily to white and it will fall off after a day or so. The freezing kills it instantly without any squeezing.
- To remove ticks use a paralyzing topical cream or lotion such as: i) Permethrin 5%, cream or lotion (usually for scabies ) (Lyclear 30g or Quellada Scabies Treatment 100ml)and is suitable for use for children. Apply from the chin down and wash off with warm, soapy water 8–14 hours later. Rinse thoroughly. Can also apply to the scalp, neck, face and ears in children. For a single attached tick, dab Lyclear to the tick and leave alone for 1/2 hr. If the tick is still attached after 1/2 hr apply more Lyclear. After another 1/2 hr the tick should be dead and safe to remove with tweezers if it hasn’t already fallen off.
- OR: use a tick remover that twists the tick out. Pharmacies and vets sell these.
- Avoid using tweezers, heat, methylated spirit etc. All of these can distress the tick and result in it disgorging its’ stomach content into the skin, which can lead to infection.
- More info here: http://www.health.gov.au
STINGING TREE LEAVES: One our usual sites has Stinging Trees in one area, the leaves of which are covered in tiny silicone hairs similar to stinging nettle. We show the children the leaves on the ground and don’t collect natural materials in that area. If your child ends up handling one we will follow this procedure:
- Remove any visible hairs with tweezers.
- Use adhesive tape or a waxing strip to attempt to remaining hairs.
- Cover the area with a non-stick dressing.
- Monitor for anaphylactic shock.
At home you should seek medical attention if the area continues to be painful as there may still be hairs embedded. Most people don’t have a serious reaction to these plants but they can be very unpleasant. Rubbing and scratching should be discouraged and anti-hysthamine may be helpful.
More info visit: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/stinging-plants
SNAKES: We are yet to encounter any snakes, but we are out at all times of year in places that snakes inhabit, so it’s possible. We show the children how to adopt a safe pose and walk backward away from the snake if they see one. Snake bite would be treated in accordance with current best practice, emergency services called and parents contacted immediately.
Snake bite: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/snake-bites
The same would apply to poisonous insects, spiders and sea-creatures.