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Lifting children in childcare

Lifting the children we care for is such a routine task that we perform it subconsciously. Back injuries and back strains are common in the childcare industry so awareness training is necessary to keep safe lifting techniques on the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Here are a few recommendations to prevent back injuries in childcare facilities:
• Provide stepstools for smaller children to reach sinks and drinking fountains that are not at their level of reach
• When comforting an upset child, sit down in a chair or kneel down to their level instead of picking them up
• Bend your knees and keep your back straight
• Provide steps for children who can climb onto changing tables to avoid having to lift them up
• Think before you take action; if you can, take a child by the hand instead of lifting them, if it’s not safe to lift the child,
don’t do it

When necessary, safely lift children by:
• Placing your feet and knees at least one shoulder width apart, with 1 foot slightly in front of the other
• Directly face the child. Hold the child close to you and centered on your body
• Keep your chin up while squatting
• Lower yourself to 1 knee
• Bend at the knees and keep your back straight
• Take the child with both arms and keep the child as close to you as possible
• Do not twist your back
• Slowly stand up
• Do not lift children over baby gates
• Provide baby gates that have a door that swings open, allowing employees and children easy access to different areas

Back safety is essential in all areas of daily life, but it is especially important to be mindful of safe lifting techniques when working alongside children each day.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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