ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), an accredited, distance learning institution, promotes online safety child care training to all early childhood educators in recognition of Safe Toys and Gifts Month.

Parents and child care providers are responsible for maintaining a safe environment free of unnecessary hazards. Toys are one of the most common causes of accidental injury and death, so it is important to think about toy safety during this season of giving. Toys should be age appropriate; avoid choking hazards with infants, toddlers and other risk groups (at least 3 cm wide by 6 cm in length); and be in compliance with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. The U.S. CPSC lists product regulations, recalls, warnings, and safety-related news, along with being a source for consumers to report unsafe products.

Caregivers should receive ongoing professional development in order to keep current with new safety standards. CCEI offers a number of courses dedicated specifically to safety, including CCEI900: Safety in the Infant/Toddler Classroom; CCEI3025: Creating a Safe Home Environment; CCEI110A: Indoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting; CCEI110B: Outdoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting; the Eco-Friendly Child Care Center series (ADM100 & ADM102); and others. Account holders with active, individual or center-based annual professional development subscriptions may enroll in these courses at no cost when logged in to their account. Non-subscribers can also purchase course hours to take any of the courses.

“Parents and seasoned professionals alike often feel they understand and promote the highest level of safety, yet injuries and emergency room visits still occur at alarming rates,” said Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “Safety is so important that anyone caring for young children can benefit from a course to brush up on their safety practices and review any new standards that may have been enacted.”