Back 2 School: First Aid advice for Teachers

Back 2 School: First Aid advice for Teachers

Sarah McLoughlin
Posted by Sarah McLoughlin

Date: Thursday, 14 September 2017. -  
Blog, First Aid, First Aid Emergencies, Training

September is here and that means back to school time for children and the return to work for teachers!

Children’s lives are of paramount importance and it is for this reason that schools have a responsibility to protect the health, well-being, and safety of all children under their care.

Whether you work with children in a nursery setting or teach in a school, paediatric first aid knowledge is essential in providing you with confidence in responding to an emergency situation if one were to arise.

Children are generally more prone to accidents than adults would be. It is therefore necessary for teachers to have some first aid knowledge. 

School Requirements

Government guidelines are in place to ensure that children are kept safe at school.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate:

  • First aid equipment
  • First aid facilities
  • Qualified first-aid personnel

Although most employers are only obliged to provide first aid for their employees, schools have a legal responsibility for pupils in their care.

The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) recommends that organisations such as schools, which provide a service for others, should include them in risk assessments that are carried out to ensure they are kept safe at all times.

Although teachers’ contracts of employment do not contain any requirement to give first aid, it is strongly advised that as a minimum, every school should have at least one qualified first aider and a designated person that will take charge in their absence. A first aider should also be present on school trips which is why it is important for all teachers to have at least some first aid knowledge for incidents that require immediate attention.

Staying Alert

Sadly, there have been a number of instances where a child has choked on an object or food in school and died as a result. Without assistance, a choking child will become unresponsive as a result of a blocked airway. Statistics show that choking is the third most common cause of death of children in the UK. This highlights the importance of CPR skills and first aid knowledge for teachers and anyone who works with children.

Whether it be a grazed knee from falling over on the playground, or a more serious incident that needs attention, we share with you the following tips for teachers to ensure their pupils are well looked after:

 

  1. Responding to a choking child- Be sure to closely supervise lunchtimes and snacks, as children often forget to chew their food properly which can result in them choking. If you witness a child begin to choke, encourage them to cough the object out. If this does not clear the airway, give up to five back blows between their shoulder blades. If the airway is severely blocked, five abdominal thrusts may be necessary as well as medical attention by calling 999.
  2. Responding to a bleeding child- First aid kits within schools should always be stocked with plasters and bandages as it is not uncommon for a child to acquire cuts and grazes. Seek medical attention if the child is experiencing significant blood loss. it is important to apply pressure to the wound in order to quickly reduce blood loss.
  3. Responding to broken or fractured bones- When it comes to suspected broken or fractured bones, medical attention will be required. Unless the child is in immediate danger, you should not move them. Instead, apply an ice pack to the affected area, keeping the injured limb in the same position.
  4. Responding to an asthma attack- An asthma attack can escalate suddenly. If a child has excessive wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath or chest tightness you should reassure and help them into a comfortable seating or standing position. Encourage the child to use their inhaler. You will need to seek help if the quick-relief inhaler is unavailable or not working.
  5. Responding to an unconscious child- Immediately check for breathing by opening the child’s airway and tilting their head. If they are breathing, put them in the recovery position. If they do not seem to be breathing, seek medical attention by calling 999 and in the meantime, administer CPR.

 

Paediatric First Aid Training

It may not be a legal requirement however, first aid training should be considered by all teachers, not only nominated first aiders. Children spend approximately six hours a day in school and during this time accidents could occur. Parents will want reassurance knowing that their child is in safe hands whilst at school. Ensuring all teachers have life-saving skills from Paediatric First Aid training will ensure this reassurance is offered to parents.

If you would like more first aid tips or information about training, check out our twitter page @imptraining and a member of the team will happily assist you.