SAFETY in kindergartens is the emphasis in a new curriculum guideline to be introduced this school term. The guideline, prepared by the Education Department's Curriculum Development Council, will detail how safety measures can be stepped up in schools in order to ensure children do not get hurt. For example, schools will be reminded to plan the layout of a classroom and arrange furniture and equipment in a way that would least endanger the children. Principals will also be advised to make sure there are enough teachers deployed to closely supervise all student activities, inside and outside school. Concern over kindergarten safety became an issue after the death of a two-year-old boy who fell from a Sha Tin building last month after being taken to school by his mother. Although the cause for the child's death is still unknown, and police investigations continue, kindergartens have been called upon to step up safety measures. Ms Mary S. N. Poon, principal curriculum planning officer (primary and kindergarten), denied, however, that the new measures were prompted by the recent accident. ''The accident had nothing to do with the guideline,'' she said. ''It is coincidental. The guideline was finalised and endorsed by the Curriculum Development Council in April, long before the accident occurred. ''The Education Department has long been keeping an eye on classroom safety.'' A draft of the guideline, ''Guide to the Kindergarten Curriculum'', was issued last November for a three-month public consultation. It was designed to give kindergarten teachers basic knowledge about children's various needs, and to suggest suitable play and learning activities for kindergarten children. Several amendments were made after schools appealed for greater attention to classroom safety. Mrs Poon said the topic had already been included in the draft, but after schools had sent in their views and suggestions, the council expanded the guideline and elaborated on the safety aspect. Schools are also advised to closely follow the children's emotional patterns. ''Many people think kindergarten pupils are too young to have emotional problems, but in fact we do need to observe their individual emotional responses. The children's different responses reflect their future behaviour patterns and emotional development,'' Mrs Poon said. Teachers are also advised to encourage students to express their opinions in order to better understand them, she said.