Children and youth who participate in Out-of-School Time programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.
Note: Additional practices key to ensuring safety are addressed in other standards. For example, CYD-OST 13 addresses the importance of providing adequate supervision, and CYD-HR 2 and 10 highlight the importance of conducting appropriate background checks.
Documentation that emergency preparedness training has been provided (e.g., in training files or personnel records)
Record of fire drills held
Maintenance and inspection reports
Medication logs, if applicable
Medication management training materials, if applicable
Documentation that medication management training has been provided (e.g., in training files or personnel records), if applicable
Copies of licenses, driving records, and insurance documentation, if applicable
CPR and first aid certifications
Training curricula and/or information on internet safety provided to children, youth, and personnel, if applicable
Accident, injury, and illness reports
Children, youth, and families
Observe facility (indoor and outdoor)
Review files of children and youth
There are no observable safety hazards in the indoor space, and materials used for indoor play are safe.
Safety hazards include, but are not limited to: uncovered electrical outlets; walls, floors, furnishings, or materials in disrepair; unsecured floor coverings or furniture; harmful water temperatures; exits that are obstructed, unmarked, or poorly lit; unmarked glass doors; a lack of emergency lighting; walk-in freezers or refrigerators that do not open from the inside; unsecured windows in need of window guards; mirrors that are not shatter-proof (e.g., in hand-washing areas); hazardous materials (e.g., disinfectants) that are not properly labeled and stored securely away from children; dangerous clutter and spills; glass and other unsafe litter; stairs without railings; and unsafe use of electrical applicances such as space heaters.
In addition, equipment, toys, and materials should meet safety requirements set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the program should be aware of any recalls that affect its products. The CPSC provides web-based access to a list of product recalls.
There are no observable safety hazards in the outdoor space, and equipment for active play is safe.
The program should ensure that: the outdoor space is protected from traffic by fences or other means; entrance and exit areas are sheltered from traffic; sidewalks are free of ice, snow, and slippery mud; the space is free of glass and other litter; large equipment is bolted down; equipment is in good repair (e.g., free of rust, splinters, and loose nails or screws); swings are placed out of the way of passing children and youth; and all playground equipment is on a resilient surface (e.g., fine loose sand, wood chips, wood mulch about nine inches deep, or rubber mats).
Note:See the Interpretation to CYD-OST 12.01 regarding compliance with CPSC requirements.
The program develops an emergency response plan that addresses:
procedures for responding to emergency situations;
training children and youth in a developmentally and age-appropriate manner on how to respond in case of emergency;
coordinating with emergency responders, and accessing emergency transportation, both on- and off-site;
coordinating and communicating with the families of children and youth, both on- and off-site;
coordinating with appropriate local, state, and federal governmental authorities;
evacuating persons with mobility challenges and other special needs; and
accounting for the whereabouts of children, youth, personnel, and visitors.
Emergency situations include, but are not limited to: accidents; serious illnesses; fires; medical emergencies; water emergencies; natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or snowstorms; emergencies associated with outdoor activities; hostage situations; bomb threats; unlawful intrusions; physical assaults; and any other situations involving harm or violence or the threat of harm or violence.
Emergency procedures for exiting during a fire should be posted, fire extinguishers should be visible and accessible, and personnel should know how to use fire extinguishers.
Please note that element (e) applies only when a program provides sports/fitness activities as covered in the Supplement for OST Programming: Health and Wellness (CYD-OST-HW). Further, while COA strongly recommends that all programs providing sports/fitness activities maintain an AED in order to ensure proper emergency response to sudden cardiac arrest, a program that does not maintain an AED can still demonstrate satisfactory implementation of the standard overall as long as the program does not operate in a state that requires access to an AED. It is also important to note that: (1) personnel should be trained on how to use an AED, as per element (c) of this standard; and (2) any AED in operation at a program should be regularly inspected and maintained according to the manufacturer’s specification, as per CYD-OST 12.06.
Written emergency numbers should be posted near the phone at the program site.
The National Alliance for Youth Sports states that youth sports programs should ensure that an AED is proximate to all playing areas, and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that AEDs be present and accessible in all schools and at all school-sanctioned athletic events and activities. Given that the device can only save lives if people know where it is and how to use it, both organizations also point to the importance of providing training on AED use.
conducts fire drills according to legal requirements, and at least monthly; and
Indoor and outdoor facilities and equipment are properly maintained through:
preventive maintenance by a qualified professional;
a monthly review of the heating, fire extinguishers, fire safety, lighting, and other systems;
a review of vehicle safety inspections; and
quick responses to emergency maintenance issues and potentially hazardous conditions.
Please note that the monthly review referenced in element (c) is typically a facility walk-through with a check list to verify that systems are functional, fire extinguishers are charged, etc. Some or all of the activities addressed in the standard may be conducted by another party, such as a school district or a landlord, if the program is a tenant or shares space with another facility (such as a school). In such instances, the program must be able to demonstrate that it monitors and documents the completion of elements (a) through (e) to provide a safe environment. Procedures should specify responsibilities for cleaning, maintenance, and inspections, including how frequently inspections and preventive maintenance should occur, and personnel should know whom to call for maintenance and repairs.
“Emergency maintenance issues” include overflowing toilets, flooded basements, defective heating systems, and other situations that can damage property, interfere with program operation, or pose a threat to children, youth, and personnel. “Hazardous conditions” include, but are not limited to, those noted in CYD-OST 12.01 and 12.02.
Personnel directly involved in medication control and administration receive training and demonstrate competence in medication control and administration, and knowledge of applicable legal requirements.
NAThe program does not administer or store medication.
Protocols and controls governing the proper administration and storage of medication include:
locked, supervised storage with access limited to authorized personnel and in accordance with law, regulation, and manufacturer’s instruction;
maintaining medication in original and child resistant packaging, and labeling with the name of the child or youth, medication name, dosage, prescribing physician name, and number or code identifying the written order;
appropriate disposal of expired or unused medication, syringes, medical waste, or medication prescribed to former persons served;
a record of who received medications, what medications were administered, and when and by whom medications were administered; and
protocols for the administration of over-the-counter medications.
A program can receive a rating of 2 on CYD-OST 12.10 if one or two elements of the standard are not fully implemented, e.g., copies of licenses and driving records are not available or out of date for no more than 20% of personnel; or registration and vehicle inspection records are out of date for no more than 20% of privately-owned vehicles. However, if any one element of the standard needs significant improvement, the program will receive a rating of 3.
Regarding element (a), United States federal law requires school buses weighing under 10,000 pounds to have lap-shoulder (three-point) passenger restraint systems in place. States have the authority to implement more stringent seat belt regulations, especially for school buses weighing over 10,000 pounds. Programs should refer to state and local regulations to determine if retrofitting is necessary.
Children weighing less than 50 pounds should be secured in a child safety restraint system (car or booster seat) which meets federal motor vehicle safety standards (See FMVSS No. 213). Please also refer to state and local regulations for more stringent weight requirements, and specific age and seat requirements.
This standard applies to vehicles owned by the program as well as those owned by its personnel or volunteers that are used for transporting clients.
When state inspection is not available as per element (d), the program should establish alternate procedures for verifying proper maintenance of both privately- and program-owned vehicles.
When the program has a contract with an outside transportation provider, it must include relevant safety expectations in the contract.
COA recognizes that personnel on military installations will be covered under a group insurance policy, and as such programs run by the military will not need to demonstrate individual insurance for personnel.
NA The program does not permit or require transporting clients in program- or privately-owned vehicles.
The program assesses its security needs and takes any appropriate measures needed to protect the safety of all persons who are in its facilities or on its grounds.
Appropriate measures for protecting security may include, but are not limited to: ensuring that locks or buzzers are installed on all program entrances; arranging for a security guard or other staff member to monitor program entrances; or utilizing a security camera system in conjunction with requiring visitors to check in with a receptionist when they arrive at the program.
The program ensures that there is at least one person certified in basic first aid and age-appropriate CPR on duty and available at all times the program is in operation, including on field trips away from the program site.
When some children will attend a field trip while others will remain on-site at the program, more than one person will need to be certified in order to meet the expectations of the standard. Please also note that first aid and CPR certifications must be kept up-to-date according to the guidelines established by the certification body. Certification courses with an online component are acceptable as long as they include a hands-on, in-person skills evaluation by an instructor. Although not required by COA, programs may also wish to have staff practice their skills between certifications (e.g., by engaging in hands-on practice with a manikin), especially if certifications are good for more than one year.
If a program operates in a state that requires more personnel to be certified, COA expects the program to meet the higher standard. COA also: (1) encourages programs to consider adult-child ratios, the type of activities offered, and the distance between activities when determining the number of persons who will be certified; and (2) recommends that programs strive to have all personnel certified.
When internet access is offered to participants:
children, youth, and staff are trained on internet safety and the program’s internet usage policies and/or procedures; and
the program has appropriate internet safety measures in place to prevent access to specific sites or inappropriate content.