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How To: Involve Children in Risk Assessments

Did you know?

Risk assessments ensure that we have taken every step possible to prevent any accidents or injuries that may happen as a result of activities in our EY settings. In a risk assessment you should list possible hazards as well as preventative methods you have undertaken to remove, or reduce the chance of injury. If you haven’t done a risk assessment before, it can be tricky to get your head around it. If you haven’t already, make sure you read That Nursery Life’s article on How to Risk Assess Activities in Your Setting.

Risk assessing a cooking activity with children isn’t just about filling in a form with all the possible dangers before the children arrive – involving the children in this preparation can be an excellent way to make them aware of, and avoid, some of those dangers.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Using either pictures/a diagram of the room where you’ll be carrying out your activity, or the room itself, encourage the children to think of the possible risks in their environment. Using the example of a kitchen for a cooking session, these could include:

  • Hot surfaces, such as hobs or the oven door
  • Sharp items, including scissors or knives
  • Wires, boxes or uneven surfaces that could cause a trip hazard
  • Items, such as a vegetable rack, that could fall over
  • Cupboard doors that could trap fingers or bang heads if left open
  • Sink with hot water tap
  • Floor with spills that may cause slips and falls
  • Kettle with hot sides and steam

While involving children in this part of activities doesn’t mean your sessions will be risk-free, supporting children in assessing activities for potential dangers helps them start to take control of their own risk assessments, enables them to feel more responsible and sets them up to be more cautious and mindful in later life.

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