As the summer holidays draw to a close, a new school year begins. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff and students is important at this time as staff and students settle in to perhaps new schools or new jobs. With all that happens in the first few weeks of term, it is easy to overlook your first aid needs.
Autumn is traditionally a time when coughs and sneezes abound, as members of the school community are exposed to a wide variety of bugs and germs. This particularly impacts those who are affected by asthma. Asthma UK state that September and the beginning of the Autumn term is the peak season for children to have asthma attacks. This is down to a combination of factors: new children, changes in routine from school holidays to school terms, exposure to new allergens and changes in weather along with fungal and mould spore release from plants and trees.
As of 2014 schools have been able to purchase spare asthma inhalers for those pupils who require it. Are you fully equipped? Did you know that legislation surrounding anaphylaxis is also changing this term? From 1st October schools will also be able to purchase spare adrenaline auto injectors for those pupils who are at risk of severe anaphylactic reactions.
Is your first aid training up to date and do you have the correct numbers of suitably qualified staff for this role?
Many schools often find that staff who held the role of first aider previously, have moved to pastures new and left a gap in cover. New staff may not be qualified in first aid. Do you have cover for school trips and for lunchtime supervisors? This is particularly important if you have children with medical needs such as asthma or allergy problems. Are your staff fully up to date with administering medications such as adrenaline auto injectors? Have the children’s medical care plans been updated to reflect changes in medication needs, doses etc? Do you have that all important consent from parents to administer medication in their absence?
Here’s your 9-point checklist for making your school a healthier place for the new academic year:
- Do you have enough trained first aiders? Consider office staff and LSA’s , PE staff, lunchtime supervisors, out of hours’ clubs and school trips
- Do you have your spare inhaler kits?
- 1st October – make sure you save the date for ordering spare adrenaline pens
- Is your Medication training up to date?
- Have you had your Anaphylaxis/adrenaline pen training?
- Are your care plans/policies current?
- Do you have Parental consent for administering medication to all appropriate pupils?
- Do all staff know where the nearest AED is? Is it easily accessible?
- Are all of your first aid kits up to date?
I hope you find the checklist useful in keeping your school safer in the coming year. And of course if you have any questions about First Aid, or Adrenaline Pen or Medication training, please feel free to give us a call.
Stay safe and enjoy the new school year!