Safety Tips for Take Your Child to Work Day 2018

April 6, 2018

badge with 2018 event logo - spartans of positive change

Take Your Child to Work Day is April 26, 2018

Mark your calendars – the annual Take Your Child to Work Day is coming to MSU on April 26, 2018. This year’s theme is: “Spartans of Positive Change” and is sponsored by the WorkLife Office at Michigan State University. Activities are intended for children ages 8-14 with a supervising adult.

This year’s campus wide activities will include opportunities to explore campus and take tours of multiple buildings and departments. A “save-the-date” informational flyer is available at:

The WorkLife Office will have a complete list of activities available on their website by April 20.

MSU Environmental Health and Safety wants to help you make this year’s Take Your Child to Work Day an inspiring experience for our future Spartan Scientists! We’ve included a few tips to make the day both safe and fun for you and your guests:

  • Check in advance that your Department and your supervisor are comfortable with children in your facilities. While the University does not require any specific paperwork or waivers to participate, it’s important that you honor your division’s policies on children in the workplace. There may be safety or security issues in neighboring areas that need to be respected.
  • You must accompany your child at all times throughout their visit to any areas on campus. Don’t assume another MSU staff member can take responsibility for your child/children. If you plan to take more than one child to the event, it is recommended that you arrange for a second adult to accompany one of your children to the event.
  • Plan ahead! Do a sweep of your lab the night before to make sure anything hazardous or dangerous is safely out of the way. Cordon off areas of the lab that may contain equipment, chemicals, biohazards or machinery that can’t be secured for the day. Make your colleagues aware of your special visitor, and keep kids away from others and their workspaces.
  • Make sure all hazardous and biohazardous waste containers are closed and inaccessible to any guests in your lab. The same goes for chemicals, biohazards, human/animal pathogens, controlled substances, and human derived materials – they must be made inaccessible during the time your children are with you in the lab.
  • In addition, visiting children should not be permitted in laboratories where radioactive materials are used, stored or disposed.
  • Keep an eye on the eyewash – and the safety shower, too. Those shiny handles are almost too irresistible not to pull – let your kids know that it’s not OK to set them off unless it’s an emergency.
  • Due to security and allergen issues, MSU EHS does not recommend having our young visitors handle live animals or visit animal housing facilities.
  • Your kids will be curious about the tools you use - but use discretion when letting them touch anything in the lab. Don’t let them handle tools or equipment that haven’t been decontaminated – ensure they are deemed safe for their use. And don’t let them carry, open or touch any container that has hazardous chemicals, biological hazards or radioisotopes in them. This includes benchtops or other work spaces that may contain residues or contamination.
  • Kids need protection, too! Make sure your children are outfitted with Personal Protective Equipment appropriate for your laboratory operations. Remember, 50% of all eye injuries are caused by another coworker – so even if there’s a chance that they may get a splash – make sure they have safety glasses on.

As always, should an accident, spill or injuries occur: dial 911 for assistance immediately, and be sure to report the details to your Department administration as soon as possible.

Take Your Child to Work Day at MSU is always a fun and a positive experience – and a wonderful way to show off your Spartan Pride! Feel free to call the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 517-355-0153 or the WorkLife Office at 517-353-1635 with questions.