Guest Post from Free Lance Writer : Amy Patterson
The primary responsibility of ensuring the safety of a child lies with the parents. As most parents are already aware, the task of protecting your child is not limited to the boundaries of the home only. It is important that parents make it their duty to examine all the premises that their child will spend a portion of their day at. This encompasses one of the most important locations, the school.
How Vulnerable is the Child at School?
In short, the child is very vulnerable. This is because the school exposes the child to activities such as lab experiments, classroom projects, playground games, and exercises at the gym. Given the vast square footage of school premises, the inherent risks present are extremely high.
How to Spot Safety Hazards at School
• Ensure that the school premises have adequate measures to deal with accidents. For example, the US fire department reported that they responded to an annual average of 5,690 fires at school structures where injuries were involved. As parents, one can look out for proper equipment such as smoke alarms placed in safe areas. Parents should also inquire about drills that the school conducts for incidents such as fires, earthquakes, etc.
• Ensure playground safety. The National Safety Council Mission reported that more than 200,000 children are taken to emergency rooms each year due to playground injuries. Look into sharp edges, supervision policy, landing surfaces, presence of rough metal, lack of maintenance, height of the playground equipment, presence of guard rails on high platforms, etc.
• Ensuring road safety. Although the traffic rules reduce speed limits on the roads adjacent to the school premises, parents must also ensure that there are proper mechanisms in place for the pickup and drop-off of children at school. For example, unnecessarily long lines of cars or hurried parents can prompt other parents to drive hastily. In such cases, the drivers of the vehicles are susceptible to overlooking precautionary measures that must be taken when driving around school premises. This can sometimes lead to an auto accident.
• Ensuring classroom safety. Sturdiness of the equipment being used in the classroom, spacing of any cupboards and cabinets around the seats of the children, sturdiness of the overhead lighting and other fixtures are just a few of the aspects that must be considered when examining classroom safety. Additionally, parents can analyze the schools entry, exit systems, placement of doorways and windows. Making note of these will be beneficial in the case of an emergency.
Making a Joint Effort
Even if the school has taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of children, parents can take an active role in looking for possible dangers that the school may have overlooked. These can be reported to the management of the school so that improvement measures can be handled quickly. Additionally, parents must also check with the school to see if they carry out annual exercises to revisit the safeguards in place and update when necessary. Similarly, groups of parents can get together with the school faculty to brainstorm regarding the need for further safety measures, if need be.