Community cleanup days are fantastic volunteer opportunities for youngsters.
Their efforts not only benefit the local environment and improve the neighborhood, but they also get the children outside and provide them with a sense of civic pride. However, the potential for injuries is very real while collecting trash – cuts, bruises, insect bites, sunburn and other problems can occur if proper safety protocols aren’t in place.
Insist that the children follow the following rules to avoid accidents and injuries.
Avoid Dangerous Items
Always give the area a once over before allowing the kids to start collecting trash to be sure no hazardous materials are present. Instruct the children to avoid picking up anything that be dangerous, including broken glass, needles or other sharp objects. Instead, have them notify an adult who can deal with the items safely.
Always Use Gloves
Trash collection involves lifting and carrying dirty and rough items. Sturdy work gloves can help keep the children’s hands clean and prevent minor scrapes and cuts. Be sure to obtain gloves that are appropriately sized for children, as gloves that are too large may cause more problems than they solve.
Lift Items toward Yourself
A wide variety of dangerous critters can lurk under debris; accordingly, it is important to instruct the children on the proper way to lift large items. Have the children pull such items toward their body, which will usually cause any hidden animal to flee in the opposite direction of the child. Additionally, the lifted item will work as a shield, providing some additional protection from snakes, rodents or other animals.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Sturdy shoes, long pants and long sleeves are necessities whenever collecting trash. In addition to providing protection from minor injuries, this type of clothing will help protect the children from sunburn.
Bug Spray Can Make the Day
Insect repellent is a good idea for any outdoor activity, but because bugs are often especially prevalent in neglected or debris-strewn areas, repellent becomes even more important. Additionally, many items can collect water, which provides a place for mosquitos to breed.
Partner Up for Protection
It is always wise to have children “pair up” when participating in any outdoor activities, and community cleanup efforts are no exception. Working with a buddy not only makes the activity more fun for the children, it also allows them to carry large items more easily. However, most importantly, working with a partner ensures that one child can go for help, should an injury or problem occur.
Make sure to contact a company like Sullivan Refuse Inc to have all the trash picked up at the end of the day. A trash removal company can provide trash bags, cans, or dumpsters that they’ll then collect when the job is done.