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Common Occupational Hazards for Daycare Workers

Raising a child is no easy task for most Iowa parents, so taking care of a large group of them seems like a gargantuan task by comparison. While daycares strive to promote safe and child-friendly environments, that doesn't mean they always provide a safe workplace for the workers.

What makes working at a daycare especially dangerous when compared to other jobs is the level of unpredictability. Even though the workers have a sufficient amount of training, younger children develop at different rates. One kid might be calm and obedient while another one their age is disruptive and rude no matter how many timeouts they get. At these times, you should remain aware of the most common causes of injury in this profession so you can take special precautions in your everyday tasks.

Back injuries

Since the children you work with are likely much shorter than you, you have to bend down a lot either to speak to them face to face, pick them up or help them with something they are working on. You also might have to lift heavy objects that some kids are too weak to pick up themselves.

If you bend or twist your back frequently to perform these actions, you need to alter your posture so you don't develop any long-term back conditions. Try to keep your back straight as much as you can and bend only at waist level if you have to. If you really need to get down lower, try squatting so you don't have to bend your back as much.

Fall hazards

Most of the children you work with still don't know how to clean up their messes properly. Arguably the two places you need to pay the closest attention to are the dining room and the main play area.

Aside from keeping your eyes on the floor around these vicinities, you may want to consider if organizing certain sections will make them safer. For example, placing the toys near a corner area means they are less likely to spread out on the floor. You should also make sure you establish boundaries for where the children play and what they use to make it safer for you and them.


Arguably the most inevitable workplace hazard is physical and mental stress. Taking care of these kids is rewarding, but it can wear you down very quickly. Many experienced daycare workers frequently experience burn-out from making sure that the kids stay in check and the parents are satisfied. If you don't pick up signs that you are emotionally exhausted, you could be putting yourself and the kids at risk.

Daycare workers in Iowa have a higher chance of suffering from an occupational injury than most other industries and missing out on several work days. If you're afraid what those missing work days will do to your income, consider speaking to a workers' compensation attorney.