Make sure your class is equipped with proper first aid supplies.
Classroom safety is important for any educator, but you need the right tools to get you there. Follow this classroom safety checklist to ensure you have the right first aid equipment on hand:
First aid kit
Whether the kids are running around at recess or working diligently in a wood shop, cuts, scrapes, and open wounds are commonly experienced in educational institutions. Teachers should always have a fully-stocked first aid kit on hand to quickly patch up wounds, stop bleeding, and prevent infection.
Between sniffling noses and sticky fingers, classrooms are a breeding ground for germs. It is common for viruses to spread from student to student, especially when kids are sent to school before they get over the flu or don't realize they're sick until they are in the classroom. While the most effective way to stop the spread of germs and illnesses is to keep sick kids at home, that's not always possible. Teachers can also slow the growth and spread of bacteria by cleaning the classroom. Keep cleansers and disinfectants on hand, and follow your school's cleaning procedure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends specifically to clean surfaces and objects that are frequently touched. These may include desk surfaces, toys, door knobs, and other classroom equipment.
Depending on what subject you're teaching, you may need equipment unique to your classroom environment. For example, science classes in which students handle open flames and dangerous chemicals may benefit from goggles that protect their eyes from all angles. Make sure you have extra safety eyewear in the classroom in case the kids forget to bring their own. This way, you can ensure all students can safely participate. For wood and metal shops, every student should have a pair of indoor safety glasses. Your class may also benefit from work gloves to prevent cuts or splinters when handling rough pieces of wood. Additionally, when students are working with multiple tools, you may want to provide aprons. This way, they can keep several frequently-used tools on hand to avoid reaching over dangerous power equipment or potentially putting their hands in other students' work areas.
Signs and posters
In medical emergencies, time is of the essence. Therefore, seconds-saving tools can be just as important as the actual medical equipment. One way to save time is to have signs directing people to first aid supplies. Make sure students and other staff members know where you keep your first aid kit by posting a helpful sign above its location. Even if time won't make a life-or-death difference, such as when a substitute teacher is just looking for a way to patch up a student's minor cut, it's still important that they can easily locate the first aid kit.
Certain environments may necessitate unique safety equipment, and signs can also help identify hard-to-spot classroom features. For example, while students should always wear protective goggles when working in a science lab, a chemistry classroom would benefit from an eye-washing station. Have an eye wash symbol safety sign so that even if you're not in the classroom, students and other staff members can safely direct the victim to the station. Safety and education go hand-in-hand, so make sure your classroom is equipped to handle common first aid emergencies.
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