accidents and emergencies

Every out of school care service will have accident and emergency procedures in place and a method of recording information on anything that happens to children while in the care of the service. Parents or carers must provide up to date and accessible contacts for themsleves or named substitutes, and sign permission forms for any procedures which happen in terms of an accident or emergency situation. Legally, every six months services require parents and children to update the personal records of children to ensure that the information held is accurate and current. Parents should always inform the service if their child has had any recent medical concerns be it illness, chronic condition or accident to ensure that services are able to best support the child.

Sometimes an emergency is not a physical or medical accident but a situation with the premises or local community. For example: sudden adverse weather, or roads being blocked, a police incident locally, or fire or flood damage to the premises. Other national emergencies such as the spread of foot and mouth disease or fear of other widespread diseases have, in the past, led to closures of schools and out of school care services, or made it necessary for staff, parents and children to follow strict national guidelines, whilst they were in operation. While such situations are thankfully rare, it is important to follow any additional guidance issued in terms of situations like this.

Parents may also encounter an accident or emergency in their own life, therefore it is important that the service is informed about trusted alternative people to collect children if the parent or carer is unable to do so. It is usual for services to contact their local social work department if a parent or carer does not turn up and there is no alternative carer organised.

Please also look at our section on play and risk where the need for children to experience adventurous and risky play is vital to their development, therefore services might ask you to allow your child to take part in supervised and supported activities which do carry a degree of risk, which is, however, normal for developing children in that age range.

last updated: 07/07/2023