Wisconsin Youth Company

Health and Safety

Please note: Families are varied and the use of the word Parent(s) refers to the adult(s) who are responsible for the child(ren).

Health History and Emergency Care Plan

When registering child(ren) and prior to the first day of attendance, Parents must provide a completed health his- tory and emergency care plan form. This information must be updated at least annually to ensure that information such as immunizations and current health conditions are up-to-date. Completed health history and emergency care plan forms are kept secured on-site and accompany the child throughout the day.

We understand that for religious, health or personal reasons, Parents may elect to not immunize their children. In these situations, Parents must complete required documentation in order to enroll their child in the program.

Program Preparedness

Wisconsin Youth Company is committed to the prevention of and preparation for events that could negatively impact the health and safety of all program participants. Policies and procedures that outline proper practices to reduce or eliminate risk have been developed through collaboration with our risk management director and are a part of every employee’s training. Annual inspection of each program location, monthly procedure review and on-going training ensure compliance at each program site. In addition, the following practices help support preparedness at Wisconsin Youth Company locations:

  • Completed health history and emergency care plan forms are available on-site and accompany the group
    at all times.
  • Wisconsin Youth Company complies with state guidelines regarding CPR and first aid training for all staff.
  • Accommodation plans for children with special health concerns will be kept confidential beyond being
    shared with and accessible by all staff assigned to care for that child through the on-site registration binder.
  • Each staff member will receive information on universal precautions, the use of and disposal of gloves, handling bodily secretions, providing first aid and the location of available supplies as a part of orientation.
  • A first aid kit is maintained at all program locations and is available at all times.
  • The inside building temperature will be monitored to be not less than 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If the inside temperature exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit, fans or other means will be used to provide circulation.
  • The emergency medical facility that is closest to the program location is posted at the Parent table.
  • Each program is equipped with communication devices (cell phones and two-way radios) that will support the ability to communicate within the program and also in an emergency outside of the regular program space.
  • Wisconsin Youth Company designates a second adult that is available within five minutes for emergencies at each program. This information is posted on the licensing board.

Parent Communication

Parents of a child will be contacted if any of the following occurs during program:

  • Child becomes ill
  • Child experiences an injury that may require professional evaluation
  • Child experiences a head injury
  • Child has a seizure
  • Child consumes food or drink that may contain the child’s allergen or poisonous material
  • Child comes in contact with a poisonous material
  • Child is given incorrect medication; incorrect dosage of medication; medication given at incorrect time
  • The child is missing
  • The child was subject to guidance that is prohibited

Program Facilities

Many Wisconsin Youth Company programs are held in local schools and community centers. We comply with all applicable state licensing standards regarding the facility where programs are held and the maintenance of facilities and equipment.

When we leave our main program location to go elsewhere, like on a field trip or to the playground, staff will leave a sign posted to let families know where they are. Please look for these signs if you come into our program area and staff are not there.

Personal Property

The possession and/or use of the following items is not permitted at Wisconsin Youth Company offices, camps, programs or field trips: weapons, alcohol, illegal substances, tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.

Child Illness

Upon their arrival at the program each day, children will be observed by the staff for signs of illness. If a child
arrives or becomes ill at the program, the following procedures will be followed:

  • A staff member will spend time with the child, assessing the nature of the problem.
  • If the child is obviously ill and unable to participate fully in program activities a staff member will contact the child’s Parents and ask them to pick the child up as soon as possible. The child will be placed in a quiet area, separated from the other children, but within sight and sound of a staff person, and with appropriate toys, books or quiet diversions for comfort until the Parent arrives.
  • If the Parent cannot be reached, a staff member may call an emergency contact to pick up the child.
  • Children who have not been in school due to illness are not allowed in the program that day.

When children have any of the following conditions, they may not attend or remain at program. The child should be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to program.

  • Fever: Temperature of 100°F or 38°C or greater
  • Diarrhea: five or more loose, watery stools within 24 hours
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing
  • Headache or stiff neck
  • Undiagnosed rash or spots on skin
  • Severe itching
  • Mouth sores
  • Cloudy eye discharge
  • Unusual nasal discharge
  • Significant tiredness, irritability, crying
  • Uncontrolled coughing
  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • Any communicable disease

In some cases, a physician’s note may be required stating that the condition is not contagious or a risk to others and the child may return to program.

We recognize that having a child become ill on a work day can be very challenging for Parents. We will do our best to care for children should they become ill at program. However, please remember that bringing a sick child to program may jeopardize the health of the other children and staff. Please plan for back-up child care for your child if you are unable to leave work.

Parents should obtain a note from the child’s physician or clearly indicate on the child’s registration if they have a chronic or seasonal condition which is not contagious but may resemble a cold or eye infection.

Communicable and Contact Diseases

Each staff member receives information regarding childhood illnesses during orientation. When a suspicion of communicable or contact disease exists in regard to one of the children enrolled in a program, the staff will:

  • Make the Parents aware of suspicion or observation related to communicable disease and any specific requirement to have the child seen by a physician and/or the need for physician’s approval before the child returns to the program.
  • Notify the health department as applicable if the child has a reportable communicable disease.
  • Notify the Parents of all children in the program that a possible exposure has occurred. The identity of the ill
    child will not be discussed as a part of this notification.
  • Observe other children in the program for signs of illness during the course of the incubation time.

Injuries and Accident Response

Staff will contact 911 in the event of all life-threatening emergencies or injuries.

The following steps will be taken when a non-life-threatening emergency or injury occurs:

  1. Administration of first aid and comfort to the child; superficial wounds shall be cleansed with soap and
    water and protected with a bandage or adhesive type strip.
  2. Immediately notify Parent and follow the instructions of the Parent in the event of any injury to the head or injury that may need additional medical attention.
  3. If Parents cannot be reached and additional medical attention is needed, an emergency contact person
    specified by the Parents is notified.
  4. If no contact with the Parent or emergency contact is made, staff will monitor the child. If additional or immediate medical attention is necessary, staff will call 911.

Each site will maintain a medical/behavioral log that conforms to Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) requirements:

  • The bound medical/behavioral log will have lined and numbered pages and all entries recorded in ink. No spacing will be allowed between entries.
  • All injuries, no matter how minor, and all medications administered, will be recorded in this log and signed by the person making the entry.
  • Parents will be informed of minor injuries by receiving a copy of the completed accident report
  • Parents shall sign the form before being given their When this is not possible, a staff member will record how notification was done (phone call, form sent home, etc.).
  • When a child’s injury requires medical attention, the program director shall be informed and a state accident report form shall be completed by the staff and submitted to Wisconsin DCF within 24 hours.
  • Program supervisors will review log entries with site staff monthly to consider preventative measures that will minimize future occurrences.

A program manager or risk management director will review all medical log entries a minimum of three times during the school year and two times during the summer

Emergency Procedures

Planning for Emergency Situations

  • Staff will create plans in case of fire, severe weather or civil disturbance. It is the responsibility of the
    program supervisor to see that evacuation or shelter plans are complete and in place.
  • Emergency plans for fire and severe weather are posted at each program location in a conspicuous and visible area to all staff, children and Parents.

Planning for Evacuation in the Event of Fire

The program supervisor will ensure that fire evacuation plans are practiced each month and that these practices include exits from all the various rooms that the program may use during program hours. During summer, fire evacuation plans are reviewed weekly.

  • These plans will designate a primary and an alternate escape route as well as the location of the nearest
    fire extinguisher and fire alarm box.
  • During orientation, the staff will be trained in the use of the fire extinguisher as well as in how to evacuate children in case of an emergency.
  • Documentation of these practice drills will be made on the fire and safety checklist, which is posted at site.
  • Children will be taught during these practice drills that if they become separated or scattered, they should meet outside at a specific location away from the building.

Planning for Severe Weather

  • The program supervisor will designate a tornado shelter area in the safest possible part of the facility.
  • Each site has a weather radio which remains on during program hours so staff may be alerted about
    severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings.
  • Tornado drills will be practiced monthly in compliance with DCF requirements and to ensure children reach the designated tornado shelter in a timely fashion in the event of an actual tornado. During summer, severe weather plans are reviewed weekly.
  • Staff members will know their duties in the event of severe weather, including how to respond to severe weather while on field trips away from the program facility.

Planning for Civil Disturbance

Wisconsin Youth Company has emergency procedures in place in the event that a situation becomes unsafe for children to remain in regular program space. Staff are trained on these procedures and plans are practiced regularly.

Medication Management and Storage

Medications (prescription and over-the-counter) may only be administered if:

  • There is a signed and dated written authorization by Parent kept on-site that includes dosage and directions for administration.
  • Medication is current, in the original packaging and labeled with the child’s name. (Medication that is past the expiration date will not be administered to a child.)
  • For prescription medication, there is a physician’s prescription label on the medication packaging with authorization.
  • All medication for a child will be administered as directed on the label and as authorized by the parent.
  • Written authorization must be provided by a physician if dosage is different than label directions.

All prescription medications and other medications shall be stored in an area inaccessible to children. The quantity of medication is recorded upon receipt from, and upon return to, the Parent. All medication administered to children shall be recorded in the medical log and signed by the person administering it. Medications for individual children that may be needed for emergency care will be available at all times in the first aid backpack. These medications would include but are not limited to medications needed in the treatment of asthma, diabetes and severe allergies. To protect the safety of all children, individual children may not carry or store personal medications.

Attire and Weather Chart

Sunscreen and Insect Repellent

To help children enjoy time outdoors, Wisconsin Youth Company will provide Rocky Mountain SPF 30 sunscreen and Cutter All Family Pump Spray (7% DEET).

We require authorization from Parents to apply sunscreen and insect repellent. If a child requires a different strength or brand of sunscreen or insect repellent, Parents may complete the authorization(s) to administer sunscreen and/or insect repellent. If Parents provide alternatives to sunscreen and insect repellent, they will be required to drop them off the first day of program and pick it up on the last day of program.


Children and staff shall wash their hands with soap and water after using the restroom and before eating or preparing snack and after eating snack. Food shall be served in bowls and cups, or on napkins and paper towels, and under no circumstances on bare tables or floors. Toys and equipment will be cleaned when they become soiled. Eating surfaces will be washed and sanitized before and after each use. Wet or soiled clothing will be placed in a bag and set aside for Parents.

Snack and Nutrition

Snack routines will vary based on the age level of the children. Children will have opportunities that will encourage self-serving, helping with set-up, clean-up and an emphasis on the use of table manners. Wisconsin Youth Company will not utilize withholding of food as a disciplinary strategy.

We work within the guidelines suggested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We also encourage parents to follow these guidelines when providing lunch or an alternate snack for your children due to medical or dietary restrictions.

  • Snacks are chosen and provided in appropriate portion for the age of the children.
  • Snack will include two items from two of the following groups:
    • Milk or milk alternative
    • Meat or meat alternative
    • Fruit or vegetable
    • Whole grain

For the convenience of Parents, a copy of the USDA guidelines are available at each program location. Parents can also contact the administrative office or visit ‘Resources’ under “Families” on our website, wisconsinyouthcompany.org.

Allergies and Special Diets

It’s vitally important that any and all allergies to food be communicated during the registration process. Based on the health history and the emergency care plan form, accommodation plans will be created to fit the individual needs of children. Parents are responsible for providing the items necessary for the accommodation plan.

A special diet, not based on a medical condition but including nutrient concentrates and supplements may be served with written instruction from the children’s physician and written permission from the Parents. Parents are responsible for providing all food if the child requires a specialty menu (vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) and Wisconsin Youth Company requires a written request from the Parents for this accommodation.


Wisconsin Youth Company does not allow privately owned animals on our program premises. When picking up or dropping off children, Parents may not bring pets into the program site or to areas where children are playing outside. Any unintentional contact with animals will be handled by staff.

Staff may ask the person in control of the animal to remove it from the area where the children are playing (on-site or off-site) and explain our animal policy.

If the animal is not removed from the program area, staff will either move children inside or to another area. In cases of loose or stray animals, staff will bring children inside and (if necessary) contact animal control. For educational or display purposes, a local zoo, humane society, or other educational program working with live animals may bring in animals if they provide evidence of general liability insurance and Wisconsin Youth Company is named as an additionally insured on their policy. Parents will be notified in advance of any animals being brought into program. Field trips may include animal petting areas. If children come into contact with animals on field trips, children will be closely supervised and will wash their hands with soap and water, before and after contact with the animals.

In the unlikely event that an animal bites a child, 911 will be called in order to secure the animal and verify rabies shots. Staff will also notify Parents. Staff will provide first aid and will document the bite.


Wisconsin Youth Company complies with all state guidelines when providing transportation for children. Transportation options include: chartered bus, city bus, and Wisconsin Youth Company owned 15 passenger vans with approved company driver. Staff are not permitted to transport children in personal vehicles.

School buses or a Wisconsin Youth Company van are the preferred means of transporting children in the pro- gram. Documentation of adequate liability insurance must be on-file with Wisconsin Youth Company if the ser- vices of an independent transportation company are used. In an emergency, privately-owned vehicles may be used only with the prior approval of the risk management director, provided that the following rules are met:

  1. Written Parent consent has been obtained.
  2. The driver must hold a valid Wisconsin driver’s license.
  3. The driver must be at least 21 years of age and have at least two year’s experience as a licensed driver.
  4. Wisconsin Youth Company has documentation of adequate automobile liability insurance coverage on-file.

Any vehicle transporting children in the program must be:

  1. Licensed in accordance with the laws of the State of Wisconsin
  2. Clean, uncluttered and free of obstructions on the floors, aisles and seats
  3. Enclosed

Bus rules and safety procedures will be communicated to the children. Children and adults must wear seat belts if available. While the vehicle is in motion, children will remain seated, should not be allowed to speak loudly, argue, roughhouse, etc. If necessary, the driver shall stop the vehicle until an acceptable driving atmosphere exists.

Any vehicle used to transport children must have its doors locked at all times while the vehicle is moving. A seat having a minimum of 13 inches shall be provided to each child. Each adult shall have a minimum of 20 inches. Children may not be left unattended in a vehicle. There must always be a second adult, in addition to the driver, traveling with the group that is trained in safety responsibilities and group management. A staff member will check the vehicle to make sure that all children have exited the vehicle.