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Preventing Intentional and Unintentional Injury in School: Some Thoughts for Educators
“Injuries are part of the game…” “Accidents happen.” “In the most carefully supervised classroom there will still be injuries.” “There are some injuries that simply cannot be avoided.” We’ve all heard these phrases, and some of us question their validity.
While the possibility of an accidental event is not completely ruled out, the CDC also believes that “incidents that unintentionally cause injury in schools are termed “accidents.” Although scientific evidence suggests that many of these events can be predicted and prevented.” Note that this is based on prediction and prevention Scientific evidence – no “hump”.
The purpose of this writing is to familiarize and remind teachers that not all unintentional injuries are unintentional, yet most of them, whether intentional or not, are preventable.
A sense of context
To paint a clearer picture of awareness, consider the following short account. Recently, in a high school soccer game, 2 players on the same team broke their noses 10 minutes into the action. Wow, talk about bad luck! What are the chances of this happening? Accidents happen, don’t they? What was really happening was this: the players on the opposing team weren’t as good at heading the ball as their opponents, so when the more skilled player went up to head the ball, the opponent waited a few seconds and then pounced. Kushal got in the nose of a header on the way down – a subtle but intentional act that broke 2 noses and went completely unnoticed by a referee who was unlikely to do such a thing in a fair soccer game. . The referee was completely unaware of what happened, not being a player himself.
Sometimes accidents happen, and sometimes things happen on purpose, and sometimes an incident looks like a clever accident when it’s intentional… Either way, we’d assert that all or almost all accidents or mishaps are completely preventable through the use of proactive. Strategies that include mutual respect and awareness of the context in which one operates.
Here are some important facts to be aware of:
- Injury is the most common health problem treated by school health personnel.
- Most school injuries are unintentional and non-violent.
- School injuries are most likely to occur on the playground, in the playground, and in the gymnasium.
The CDC makes 3 recommendations to prevent unintentional injury- we’ll expand on these recommendations and add prevention of intentional injury as well- even if it’s cleverly disguised!
1. Create an environment that is respectful, supportive, caring and does not tolerate harassment or bullying.
This first recommendation seems to move away from the idea of unintentional injury because bullying is intentional.
Returning to the example of the soccer game, except to the most trained of eyes, a broken nose was accidental. As more injuries occur around athletic equipment and facilities, awareness of the potential for any type of injury—intentional or unintentional—is important. A lot of bullying in schools is completely invisible to responsible adults. Consider this scenario…
A student walking in the other direction in the hallway has “suck-punched” the average American high school student. When the students get up, no one sees it (and if they do, the student code of omerta prohibits reporting the incident) and no adults see it because, like the referee, they can’t even imagine it happening.
Similarly, imagine a class of students about to start running on a track and all 35 of them line up at the starting line. Apart from the obvious pushing and shoving, “accidental” stepping on each other’s feet and falling at the start of the race, “flat tires” given when one person steps on another’s heels and kicks off, verbal abuse of students. Work very hard as well as those who are perceived as “nerds”, not to mention racial and ethnic slurs and comments that lead to someone punching someone else in return for the insult- which the teacher never hears. make a call Invisible bullying if you like It goes on all the time, and we smart adults often don’t see it—even when we’re watching closely.
As a teacher you can talk about how bullying is not tolerated. You may have a curriculum that speaks to your anti-bullying policy. None of this is valuable without active class strategies such as lining up people in a way at the start of an activity (we’ll leave it to your situational creativity- what about multiple starting lines for example?) where the crowd is not likely to step on or insult each other. Thus the injury—what may or may not be an actual “accident”—never occurs in the first place.
Here’s another example – test your knowledge:
Scenario A- Osgood Schlatter organizes his 8th grade physical education class into 4 “World Cup” teams for today’s hand soccer games. There are 4 different colors of pinnies that Mr. Schlater keeps in a big box. After forming 4 teams and telling everyone their team colors, he tells them to go to the big box and get the pinnies. So far- so good, right? Wrong! Among the 28 students, there’s a lot of pushing and shoving through the box—two students fight, another is crying and several are knocked down—as well as some racial slurs being thrown.
Scenario B- Sara Bellum does the same as above but puts pinnies in milk cartons in each corner of the gym and tells the captain to go and fetch pinnies for the team. No traffic jams, no injuries, no fights, no discipline, as opposed to Osgood’s “reactive knee-jerk approach,” Sarah’s “proactively intellectual” approach.
2. Provide a learning environment that promotes safety and prevents unintentional injuries or violence.
This second recommendation specifically addresses facilities and equipment.
For example, when the school district last did renovations, additions or new construction, did teachers and staff have an opportunity to sit down with the architect? The architects of the new outdoor sports complex (athletic directors and other administrators can tell you why it shouldn’t be called a “football” stadium) include an all-weather track and track and field jumping pits between the stadiums in its plans. Beside the football field. Thus many “accidents” will occur during football games and band shows when participants need a football field wider than 53 yards to achieve their goals.
Architects like to create “lockerless” hallways with little, aesthetically pleasing 250 locker alcoves at hallway corners that are impossible to observe by looking down the hallway and require close monitoring throughout the day due to new and improved nooks and crannies. Intimidation, some petting or selling drugs.
No doubt your undergraduate training included a “facilities design” course, and you remember things like “rounded edges,” “recessed fixtures,” and breaks in wall color so as not to disturb one’s mobility when upside down, but think. The following checklist from the CDC:
– hallways, stairwells, gymnasium and locker room passageways that are cluttered (you know the wrestling mats rolled up in your hallway, voting machines, broken cafeteria tables, old lockers, boxes, etc.) and students of sufficient size to support the numbers (40 due to lack of scheduling skills -50 get stuck in physical education classes) and students using floor space. (Completing 4 classes of height and weight at the gym in the first week- a supervision nightmare!)
– Flooring surfaces that are slip resistant.
– Stairs and bleachers with railings
– Adequate lighting in dark and dimly lit areas (all lights in windowless gyms should be MERCURY VAPOR that require a reset time when people are standing in the dark?)
Thus, to summarize, the first recommendation concerns the prevention of bullying that involves awareness of the context of the activity—in advance—so that appropriate proactive strategies can be employed. Another spoke to architecture and expressed the need for active input if possible because the people who have to use the facility often know more about the structural design of the school than the architect. The third and final recommendation covers supervision and how the concept falls into three parts-before-during-and-after as well as 45- lack of knowledge of pre-planning or scheduling strategies to reduce the definition of what effective supervision is. 1 supervision ratio in the first place.
Active classroom management techniques are designed to create calm, orderly classrooms. Techniques include reinforcing positive behaviors, observing classroom activities, and encouraging cooperative and interactive learning.
Remember that factory working or driving sign that said… 136 consecutive days without an accident…”? Most accidents are indeed preventable – for a long time – and there is scientific support for this assertion – just remember. Keep in mind, they aren’t always accidents.
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