The Lagos State Government has urged daycare owners and caregivers in preschools to prioritise the health and safety of the children left in their care.
The Director-General of the Lagos Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, stated this during a training organised in collaboration with Sufumonde in Alausa, Ikeja.
Mr Mojola, who was represented at the event by the Director of Public Safety and Wellbeing in the commission, Mr Adeyinka Adebiyi, noted that caregivers needed to be adequately trained to protect children from harm.
He said, “We are all aware that at their tender age, children are vulnerable because they pick things from the floor, they crawl and they do not know of hazards around them and this can endanger their lives. That is why we have initiated this training so that all caregivers that are participating in it will have foreknowledge of how best to take care of these infants and take responsibility for their safety. Once they have these trainings, caregivers will know the best ways to take care of them to prevent accidents and injuries. The government already has a policy which has to do with how schools and daycare centres should operate and we also carry out safety audit and risk assessment of these centres and their environments to ensure that where these underage children are kept are safe.”
The Managing Director of Sufumonde, Mrs Bolanle Adesan, said, “The more reason why we need to assess safety and be more vigilant is because of children with special needs which are on the rise; we need to take more care as the brain of a child develops predominantly in the first five years and harm that may occur within this time frame can affect their adulthood.”
On her part, a foremost educationist in the State, Mrs Lai Koiki, who was represented by Mr Sulyman Fasasi, noted that child safety is a collective responsibility and urged caregivers to report any concerns they have about children’s safety within their work environment to the appropriate authorities.
Earlier In a lecture, the Head, Compliance and Enforcement Department, in the Safety Commission, Mr Babatunde Ashiyanbi, explained that children can be harmed through physical, sexual and emotional abuse by adults or other children and he urged organisations to recruit competent childcare workers.
“There is a need to look into the policies and procedures required to prevent harm and how to respond to them. It is also vital for organizations to recruit competent childcare workers. They need to be trained to tackle risks embedded in the profession, what working with children entails, what is and is not acceptable behaviour.” He said.