Student safety. We talk about it all the time. From disaster preparedness to health emergency preparedness, the safety of students is paramount. Using experiences our clients have encountered, we’ve addressed the topic of safety several times in our blog over the past few months, but now we want to take a broader look, from the Centers of Disease Control recommendations. The CDC points out the risks and ways that everyone - parents, students, teachers, and community members - can work together to keep students safe.
Get to school safely
Students walk, are driven, or drive to school. When walking to school, students face increased risk for pedestrian injury, and as a child passenger, they face risks as well. The CDC states “motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the United States.” In addition, among US teen drivers, one of three deaths is due to motor vehicle crash, and the risk for new drivers is especially high. Learning about risk and promoting more cautious behavior can mitigate these risks.
School violence includes any negative event that impacts students, the school, or community, and no amount is acceptable. Bullying, physical and sexual violence, and youth suicide are among the most serious of school safety concerns. Sexual violence is self-explanatory, but it is important to note that nearly 80% of female victims experience their first rape before age 25, and half of those before age 18 (CDC). This only magnifies the importance of educating students early about sexual violence, discouraging those behaviors, and imparting on them the need to seek help if something does occur. Youth suicide affects everyone, including the school environment. Nearly 4,600 young people are lost to suicide each year. The CDC provides guidelines and a health index to schools to assist in preparing for and preventing these concerns.
Sports and physical activity safety
Obviously sports activities can lead to injuries, but playground injuries cannot be overlooked either. In both cases, every school needs to be informed about, and prepared to react to concussions or other traumatic brain injuries. It is important for all staff to know how to react because sports, playgrounds, or even a fall walking down the hall could result in a concussion.
This is simply a brief overview of the CDC covered topics. Make sure you read further to ensure you are aware of the full array of issues your school and students may encounter.
Additional resources (links provided by the CDC):