School first aid guidelines are meant to help our children
Millions of children attend public schools every year. Statistically, there is a higher chance of accidents and injuries at school because of the number of active children together. Recess, gym, art, lunch or any other activity at the school offers the potential for minor cuts, scrapes, bruises or burns. Knowing this, its important for every school to have first aid guidelines and procedures in place so teachers, administrators can properly respond to a situation and the student is cared for in a safe and timely manner. Below are 4 tips to help you formulate your plan.
Administration, with the counsel of medical professionals, should create a plan
The purpose of a guidelines & procedure plan is to act as "what to do in case of an emergency". It should be designed for staff who do not have medical training. The plan should encompass most of the common medical emergency scenarios that could occur.
Train and educate admin & teachers
Every layperson should be trained in basic first aid. School staff should strongly consider taking an approved first aid and CPR course. These skills will benefit them throughout life and can have a direct impact on their students. If every administrator, staff person and teacher receive proper training, they will be better prepared to respond properly to most first aid situations.
Provide tools and resources to carry out the first aid program
Schools should not only encourage training, but provide the time, funds and facilities to ensure they are equipped. Having the right first aid supplies on hand is very important. Teachers only need a simple classroom first aid kit to manage most basic first aid situations. For a little over three dollars, each classroom can have a clear solid container that includes gauze, antiseptic wipes, bandages, gauze roll, gauze pads and a cold pack.
Review the plan and make necessary changes.
Once the plan is in place, staff have been trained and the supplies and resources are available, a follow-up review should take place. Whenever there is an incident, it should be documented. These records should be reviewed and a determination of any changes or improvements to the plan should be considered. As always, proper communication between administration and staff is very important.
There are many examples of good school first aid guidelines and procedures on the internet. One tool we liked was the San Francisco Unified School District first aid flip chart. They have a robust emergency response plan which references first aid procedures. The handy flip chart addresses most basic first aid response steps in an easy to read format. It is not meant to take the place of training or important guidelines already established within their emergency protocol, but rather as a "how-to" help guide available as a reference during a first aid response. Make it your goal this year to get your school ready to safely respond to classroom first aid situations this year.