1.14.2 Safe Handling and Touch

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Managing behaviour

Providers are responsible for managing children’s behaviour in an appropriate way.


1.14.2 Safe Handling and Safe Touch Policy



Safe Handling


At Cullompton Pre-School all children are treated with respect. If it is necessary to handle children staff do not grab, pull or drag children.  If we are required to move a child or lift a child up we explain clearly to the child that we are going to move or lift them.


Planning to pick up a child


The following steps are followed if planning to lift a child:


  1. Plan
  2. Prepare
  3. Communicate
  4. Execute
  5. Evaluate


Feet should be apart – posture is important.

Avoid twisting

shoulders level

Firm grip

Slowly lift

turn by moving feet

keep load close to body


Staff consider the dangers of lifting an un-co-operative child.  They will risk assess danger to themselves and to the child and will not lift or move if there is a danger to either.


Only physically move a child if there are in danger.


If a staff member is required to move a child from the outside area to inside for behavioural reasons, they will consider whether it is the right thing to do. The staff member will consider if the situation would be better dealt with a few minutes later when the child is calmer and can be moved more safely.  Staff will encourage the child to do as much of the moving as possible and understand that this is safer than picking the child up and removing them from a situation.  In an emergency situation staff will do whatever is necessary in order to keep themselves and the child safe.


Consider the state of the child


Staff will assess the physical state of the child (pain, conscious, rigid, uncontrolled movements) and/or psychological state (distressed, lashing out, unpredictable, scared, anxious) before moving or lifting.


We hold hands gently. Arms are not held at any time. We gently move children with care and consideration at all times


We use physical restraint, such as holding, only to prevent physical injury to children or adults and/or serious damage to property.


Safe Touch


Safe Touch applies to all staff working with our pre-school setting.


The person with overall responsibility for our Safe Handling and Safe Touch policy is

Amelia Joyner, who is also a Thrive Licensed Practitioner.


Cullompton Pre-School has adopted an informed, evidence-based decision to allow Safe Touch (cuddles, hugs, holding hands) in special cases as a developmentally appropriate intervention that will aid healthy emotional growth and learning.


Research shows clearly that healthy brain development requires Safe Touch as one of the means of calming, soothing and containing distress for a frightened, sad or angry child. It is essential for all children to learn the difference between safe and unsafe touch and to experience having their strongest emotions contained, validated, accepted and soothed by a significant adult.


This policy was Adopted at a meeting of Cullompton Pre-School
Held on 1st October 2018
Date to be Reviewed October 2020
Signed on behalf of the management committee A Fox
Name of signatory Alex Fox
Role of signatory (e.g. chair/owner) Chairperson


This policy has a bi-annual review period and, as such, will be reviewed and signed off at a management committee meeting of Cullompton Pre-School each year, as shown below.