Accidental Injury, Environmental Hazards, & Emergency Planning

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Water Safety 

Learning to swim and developing awareness of water safety are essential skills to develop during childhood. Tragically, there are hundreds of accidental water deaths every year in the UK, with over half occurring in situations where the people had no intention of entering water. Swimming and water safety are compulsory parts of the National Curriculum at primary school, to make sure that children are well equipped to enjoy swimming and know how to keep safe in and around water. This is particularly important living in Devon, with two coastlines on the North and South of the county spanning over 400 miles, as well as a network of waterways in-between.  

Water safety is a mandatory part of the PE curriculum at primary school, and by the end of Year 6 all children should be able to swim at least 25 metres unaided. Water safety can also be incorporated into the PSHE curriculum to equip children and young people with good understanding of risks to support them to make safe and informed decisions. Take a look at the linked resources to support teaching water safety in school. 

Road Safety  

Accidents and collisions on the road tragically are one of the main causes of injury and death in young people aged up to 15, with over a third of fatalities occurring during the times in and around the ‘school run’. The impact of these collisions can be devastating to family, friends, and school community of those involved. However, the risk of an accident happening can be reduced by various factors including improved driver education, and teaching children and young people how to cope with the traffic environment and be aware of risks, which can be incorporated into the PSHE curriculum.  

Does your school have a School Travel Plan?

Developing a School Travel Plan involves looking at the way journeys are taken to and from school and thinking about the way these journeys can be improved. The process is an ideal opportunity to involve the whole school community in assessing and understanding the risks and issues specific to the school (e.g., location, road type, pavements, parking etc.) and consider sustainable and active travel options. The aim is to work together as a school community to promote safer, active, and sustainable travel to and from school, and reduce the number of car journeys to and from school to reduce traffic and congestion. This also has the knock-on benefit of improving air quality around the school! 

Tick Awareness

Ticks are small insects that feed on the blood of animals and people. There are several different types of tick and they look similar to tiny spiders, with eight legs but a proportionately larger body, which increases in size when attached to a host. Ticks can survive in many different types of environments but thrive in habitats with dense vegetation or long grass, which makes many spots in Devon their perfect home! Ticks don’t jump or fly but climb onto animals or people when the opportunity arises, such as brushing past long grass. They attach to their host by biting onto the skin.  

Tick bites are often painless and harmless, however some ticks can transmit bacteria that can lead to diseases such as Lyme disease, which can lead to serious illnesses and development of serious conditions if left untreated.  

What can be done to protect against ticks?

There are several things you can do to minimise the risk of being bitten by a tick: 

If you find a tick bite, it is important that it is removed safely as soon as possible by a parent or adult using a specially designed tick removal tool or a pointy pair of tweezers.  

Emergency Planning & Counter Terrorism

Whilst thankfully emergencies and terrorism incidents are rare, it is imperative that we do all we can to protect children from the harm arising from them. The emergency planning guidance linked below will allow you to work with the other members of the school community to create a plan of how you will respond to an emergency impacting upon your facility. By working through the plan, hopefully, in the event of an emergency having structure and guidance will make the response easier and reduce stress and impact. 

The Counter Terrorism link provides educational resources aimed at 11–16-year-olds in preparing them in what to do should they be involved in a terrorism incident involving a gun, knife or other attack. The materials have been developed to be used within the PSHE curriculum and have been produced with experts in that field as well as the association of Girlguiding. The messaging is based around the Run, Hide, Tell advice, but also with the aid of St. John’s Ambulance provides some practical first aid advice to support the Treat phase of an emergency. 

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