With over 75 million public school and university students enrolled here in the United States, preparing for injuries is a top priority. From playground scrapes to homeland terror incidents, first aid supplies for all types of emergency situations must be available. Many people have asked, "Where should a school keep their first aid supplies?". Let's look at these 5 tips to help determine where to place your school first aid supplies.
Being prepared and ready means supplies are close at hand
"Every classroom should have some supplies." - American Red Cross
First aid supplies should be close by and available for use in any situation. A locked storage room is not a good place to keep supplies. It relies on someone having a key to access the supplies. First aid situations are time-sensitive and fast response times are critical. The American Red Cross suggests that "every classroom should have some supplies". Keeping basic first aid supplies for minor cuts and scrapes in every classroom is a good choice. A small classroom first aid kit is perfect for these types of situations.
A school nurse or designated parent volunteer with regular hours will have first supplies available.
If a school chooses not to provide basic first aid supplies in the classroom, we suggest designating a specific place where students are sent to be treated. This location can also serve as a launching point for emergency situations. If a designated first aid room is used, additional supplies should also be strategically located throughout the school so students and staff are always close to supplies for quick response times. A school first aid essentials pack like this one is perfect to use for multiple locations within a school as it offers most of the basic first aid supplies any school would need.
The administration offices are recognized as the keystone for leadership, help and support
All good emergency response plans include designated locations, supplies, and responders. These first responders may include teachers, nurses, or administrators. The type of kit and supplies used by each of these responders is based on their role and experience. For example, a school nurse may have diagnostic equipment, inhalers, or epinephrine auto-injectors in their emergency kit while a basic first responder may have bandages, gauze, pressure dressings, and CPR masks in their supplies.
Communicate and mark where supplies are kept
Knowing where first aid supplies are stocked at your school means a good communication plan is vital. People need to know in advance where they can expect to find first aid supplies when a situation arises. Not only is a plan required but training and communicating are critical. A plan is only good when people know about it and understand their role. First aid locations should be marked for everyone to see. Practice the plan at scheduled emergency training exercises to ensure it works and the administrator, teacher, and student are prepared.
MFASCO Health & Safety First Aid Supplies Locations in Schools Resources
Because injury response time is so important in schools, a common challenge with school first aid is kit placement. There are many approaches to this question, and each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. What’s most important is taking the time to understand your school’s unique environment and always prioritize the safety of both children and staff.