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The recent stories of death and injuries in Minnesota day cares has has parents wondering how to check out these day cares? The State has provided for a system so that you can regularly check on the status of your own day care. It is important that the places we leave our children are safe.

Beyond checking the license, the Injury Coalition for the Protection of Children suggests that the following check list be used at every day care:

To Prevent Daycare Injury, Avoid the Following Hazards:

? Openings that could entrap a child’s head or limbs.

? Unsafe window guards.

? Elevated surfaces that are inadequately guarded.

? Lack of specified surfacing and fall zones under and around climbable equipment.

? Mismatched size and design of equipment for the intended users.

? Insufficient spacing between equipment.

? Tripping hazards.

? Components that can pinch, sheer, or crush body tissues.

? Equipment that is known to be of a hazardous type (such as large animal swings).

? Sharp points or corners.

? Splinters.

? Protruding nails, bolts, or other components that could entangle clothing or snag skin.

? Loose, rusty parts.

? Hazardous small parts that may become detached during normal use or reasonably foreseeable abuse of the equipment and that present a choking, aspiration, or ingestion hazard to a child.

? Flaking paint, and paint that contains lead or other hazardous materials.

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