Creating a safe environment for children in schools is a very important task. This is especially so because they are the most vulnerable in the case of any emergency. Effective classroom management skill is required to properly prevent and manage disasters in the classroom. Ensuring a safe classroom is an essential part of risk management and accident prevention. The following are basic safety tips to implement by a teacher as a means to prevent accidents in a classroom setting.
- Keep Exits Clear
- Hang Decorations Properly
- Keep Hazardous Materials Out Of Reach
- Eliminate Tripping Hazards
- Be Aware Of Electrical Cords
- Do Not Overload Electrical Circuits
- Take Care When Lifting Heavy Objects
- Post An Evacuation Plan Near The Door
- Use Effective Visual Cues to Explain Measures
- Assigning the title of ‘safety prefect’ in turns is a good way to increase safety awareness and give responsibilities to children.
In addition to the safety tips, basic equipment such as the ones listed below should be in the First Aid kit:
- Roller Bandage
- Gauze Pad
- Lotion Chlorhexidine (Savlon)
- Lotion Povidone-Iodine(BETADINE)
- FramycetinSulpahte (SOFRAMYCIN)
- Kidney dish
- Eye Pad
- Tape Adhesive
- Band Aid
- Ice Bag Sample
- Hot Water Bottle
With these safety measures put in place, the teacher is better equipped to prevent certain classroom situations that may ordinarily turn into an accident and is able to deal with accidents in school as well. To prevent a classroom situation from turning into a disaster, it is important for the teacher to:
(a) Seek to effectively handle the situation
(b) Intervene to resolve the issue.
In managing an accident in the classroom, the teacher:
- Can defer the actual intervention to a more favourable time
- Show the Children involved that he is willing to listen to their side of the story
- Acknowledge the Children’s motive but not agree to their choice of solution
- Deflect attempts to argue and
- Use humour to diffuse the situation.
During an accident situation in school however, the teacher has a responsibility to properly manage his classroom situation in ensuring that things don’t get worse. His responsibilities include:
- Maintain proper evacuation procedure by taking Children to safe areas or a designated off-site location
- Maintain order when in student assembly areas
- Account for the number of Children and their health status.
- Designate roles where necessary so that children who require attention receive it at the appropriate time
- Remain with assigned children throughout the course of the situation unless when otherwise assigned by a supervisor.
Schools are not just learning institutions but also critical infrastructure entrusted with the responsibility of building citizens who are the future of the society. Therefore, creating a safe and secure environment is a prerequisite for effective teaching and learning. Thus, ensuring safety of children, teachers and staff members during accident situations is important.