People who work with children, including daycare workers and teachers, provide a valuable service. These individuals shape the children and provide them with tools they need to thrive as they grow up. This is a rewarding career path that many adults love.
Unfortunately, people who work with children face specific workplace hazards that come with the territory. Understanding these hazards can help professionals and their employers to find ways to minimize the risks.
Caring for children, especially younger children and those with special needs, requires that the caregivers stand for long periods of time and stoop or bend a lot. This can cause significant issues with the back. The injuries can sometimes come over time, which means that they are repetitive motion or cumulative injuries. They might be exacerbated by the heavy lifting that might come with these positions.
Taking the time to stretch before work and periodically throughout the day can help. Using proper lifting and stooping techniques can also help. When you notice that your back is hurting, that is a signal to rest.
Because cumulative injuries usually don't become apparent all at once, it is easy to mistake what is going on for just having tired muscles. If you notice that you have a backache that isn't abating despite medicine, heat or ice therapy and rest, you might need to seek out medical care to determine what is going on.
It is no secret that people who work with children are exposed to germs. Some people who work with children will be exposed to bodily fluids, such as nasal drainage, which can lead to the transmission of illnesses.
Washing your hands is one of the ways that you can help to stop the spread of germs, but it might not be enough. One study found that teachers have a higher prevalence over their lifetime of contracting two types of upper respiratory infections compared to other individuals. Female teachers are also at a higher risk of contracting bronchitis during a lifetime than other people.
When teachers suffer from an injury or a serious illness that requires them to take time off work, they might need to apply for workers' compensation coverage. This can help them in their quest to obtain medical care without having to pay a lot of money out of pocket. If a lengthy time off is necessary, it might provide partial wage replacement benefits.