Children and preventive health research: development of a workshop module for childcare professionals

Project No. IFA 5132

Status:

completed 12/2015

Aims:

A range of prevention issues exist in children's daycare facilities that concern the health of both the children and the childcare professionals. For example, approximately 28,000 children aged under 15 were injured in traffic accidents in Germany in 2013. Of these, around one in four was injured whilst walking. Long-term health risks such as noise are also highly relevant. The simple experiments and media developed in the project are intended to raise awareness among children and childcare professionals in children's daycare facilities for topics arising in the area of accident prevention and health protection. Prepared model experiments enable the target group to research the topics independently. Personal experience of the issues makes them more real to the children and the staff, and their awareness of hazards is reinforced in their everyday behaviour. This is conducive to a culture of prevention. The concrete objective of the project was to develop a workshop concept for a one-day training course for the staff at children's daycare facilities. The disseminators trained in this way are to be equipped to study a range of prevention topics themselves with the children in their care.

Activities/Methods:

Five prevention modules for the workshop were agreed between the contracting parties. These were: research and experiments on visibility on the roads; noise; hygiene and skin protection; hazardous substances found in the home; and tripping/slipping falling. The last of these was added in the course of the project owing to its high relevance. Use was made of existing ideas, for example from the project by the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the public sector in Rhineland-Palatinate (UK RLP) concerning high-visibility jackets for preschool children, and the "hazardous substance case" developed at the IAG. Two to four experiments were selected from each module, trialled, suitable material compiled, and documented. A description of the experiment proper, together with additional ideas for further activity and background information for adults, were compiled in the form of fifteen experiment cards (rather than the ten originally planned).

For transfer within the daycare facilities, a workshop concept for childcare professionals was developed based upon the approach of the "Little Scientists' House" foundation, which the DGUV has supported for seven years by the provision of two trainers. The focus lies upon the proposals for experiments that can already be trialled comprehensively by the childcare professionals in the workshop in order for initial trepidation to be overcome and strong identification with the topic to be built up. The materials for the experiments consist for the most part of everyday items, and can be procured cheaply. Further workshop content includes an educational component for development of children's awareness of danger, and moderated pooling of experience on the prevention of accidents and health hazards. The workshop has already been trialled with ten childcare professionals in order for initial feedback to be obtained on its suitability for use in practice in daycare facilities.

Results:

In the first phase, the fifteen proposals for research activity developed in the project were to be presented for download free of charge on suitable web pages of the UK RLP, IFA and/or DGUV in the form of experiment cards based on the model of the "Little Scientists' House". All the information compiled in the project for implementation of the ideas for research in children's daycare facilities (background information, procurement of materials, the educational supporting role) is to be outlined in an accompanying brochure. This information is intended to equip the childcare professionals to conduct experiments in the selected prevention topics with the children without requiring special instruction.

For the second phase, a follow-on project is planned containing a number of foci. The first of these is trialling of the workshop concept with regard to its suitability for implementation in the daycare facility. Childcare professionals from the "Little Scientists" regional network will be involved at this stage. Very good contacts have already been made in this area through the IFA trainers. Further foci are: optimization of the content through feedback from participating children's daycare facilities; a comprehensive version of the accompanying brochure; development of a complete workshop concept; and advertising of the workshop, including through a website and publications. Close links are planned to the "Culture of prevention" campaign, which is to be launched in 2017.

Last Update:

02-Dec-2016

Project

Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA)
  • Institut für Arbeit und Gesundheit der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IAG)
  • Unfallkasse Rheinland-Pfalz
Branche(s):

public service

Type of hazard:

questions beyond hazard-related issues

Catchwords:

health promotion, communication/information/campaigns, qualification, education, didactics etc.

Description, key words:

children's daycare facility, prevention, health, children, childcare professionals, health protection, accident prevention, traffic, noise, hygiene, household toxins, safety, visibility, research, experiments, hazard awareness, workshop, training

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