As the school year starts back up again, it’s not unusual to feel nervous about what lies ahead – especially if you’re a teacher or school administrator thinking about child safety. Which child has what food allergy? How are you going to cover so much ground across an elementary or middle school campus to ensure medical emergencies in kids are minimized? Do you have a plan to communicate with your fellow school officials and act quickly for a whole range of scenarios?
It’s easy to feel stretched thin and unprepared.
Fortunately, at SOS Technologies, we’ve broken down some of the more common health and safety risks posed on an everyday basis and given you several key elements to remember for a great back to school safety plan. When a child’s condition reaches the most urgent state, you don’t have a minute to hesitate – but a calm, determined focus on next steps can make all the difference. Let’s take a look at how that’s done.
As soon as a parent conveys an issue with a certain type of food allergy with their child, keep the lines of communication open and talk to them immediately about the type of food(s) that might trigger an allergic reaction. This is also your opportunity to ensure you have the proper medical and dietary forms to help you recognize symptoms of the child’s allergic reaction and a treatment plan in the event of an allergy. Besides dialing 9-1-1, you’re going to want to also have the phone number of the child’s allergist as well.
Let’s say a teacher becomes very well-informed of a child’s food allergy. Great! But hold on just a minute. Aren’t we forgetting a few people? What about the school nurse? The cafeteria staff? The hallway monitors? The principal? If something happens with the child, are they going to know everything regarding the child’s food allergy that the teacher knows? Maybe not. That’s why one of the most important steps in preparation for addressing a child’s food allergy is sharing the knowledge of that allergy now among those in the school who will interact with the child on a daily basis.
Try as we all might, even the best preparation may not be able to prevent an allergic reaction in a child, such as accidentally ingesting a food item. So, recognizing what the reaction commonly looks like in the child – again, their parents can be helpful here from their own experiences with the child at home – may give you the guidance on this you need.
For example, some food allergy reactions can appear relatively mild, such as sneezing or watery eyes. However, when a child is exhibiting shortness of breath, dizziness, hives, vomiting, fainting or a fast pulse, the child may be experiencing anaphylaxis – a condition that could ultimately lead to cardiac arrest.
At this point, it’s time to have someone nearby call 9-1-1 as you lie the child down on their back. If it’s easy to locate an epinephrine auto-injector that the child might be carrying, such as an EpiPen, this can be injected into the thigh. Even if the child is approved to carry their own epinephrine, there should be other school officials who know how to administer the dosage.
Similarly, if a child is experiencing an asthma attack, the child may have their own inhaler on hand, but don’t take that for granted. The school should have a second inhaler and several school employees should be able to help administer the inhaler to the student.
If an epinephrine auto-injector or inhaler isn’t in close proximity, don’t panic. Perform CPR at about 100 chest presses per minute and continue to do so until first responders arrive on the scene.
Concerned about your level of knowledge about CPR? SOS Technologies can remedy that in just a matter of a few hours with CPR training right on school grounds for teachers and other staff members.
There’s no shortage of places and ways for a child to inadvertently injure themselves at school, whether that’s through slips-and-falls, cuts, burns or other accidental mishaps. The quicker the child can receive treatment, the better. So make sure every staff member at the school knows exactly where a first aid supply cabinet is located on each floor.
Much like CPR training, it’s vital for your school staff to experience First Aid training through SOS Technologies so they can identify which first aid product to utilize for the right situation and administer first aid until help arrives
Field Trip Emergencies
It’s almost a given that an emergency is going to happen inconveniently on a school field trip – since you’re going to be away from school, where the first aid supplies are centrally located, it would figure that a medical emergency would happen.
However, that doesn’t mean you hit the road short-handed, hoping that all students on the trip will emerge unscathed. A few proactive tips that should help you prepare:
1) Store our Vehicle Safety Kit aboard all school buses, which packs some of the most useful first aid supplies at your fingertips and is an excellent portable solution. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) should also make the trip and be stored on the buses, ready to perform at a moment’s notice.
2) Train your staff members on First Aid, CPR and operation of an AED through SOS Technologies.
Having staff members who know how to perform in an emergency away from the school campus will give you the peace of mind that the proper steps of what to do are well embedded within your team. This know-how combined with our safety kit can provide the preparedness for a whole range of injuries, from the minor variety to the life-threatening ones.
For that matter, having a fully stocked supply of first aid items while training your school accordingly on how to administer CPR, first aid and an AED is a terrific move in the name of safety for your students and staff whether you’re on school campus or not.
So talk to SOS Technologies at 888.705.6100 about receiving the equipment and training every school deserves. For your teachers. For your students. For life.