Why is safety education needed in schools?
Some facts and figures about accidents and injuries among Children and young people
• Accidents are the main cause of death and disability for children in the UK.
• As many as 10,000 children are permanently disabled each year by accidental injuries.
• Boys - in all age groups - are more likely to be involved in accidents than girls.
• Children from poorer families are five times more likely to die as a result of accidents than those from wealthier backgrounds.
• Road accidents are the leading cause of accidental injury amongst children and young people: every year, over 130 children die and more than 4,500 are seriously ...view middle of the document...
What is safety education?
Safety education should enable pupils to keep themselves safe and to contribute to keeping others safe. It helps them be aware of possible hazards in different areas of their lives, and be able to take appropriate decisions and actions.
Safety education is not about isolating young people from all hazards - the
bumps, cuts and bruises which are a normal part of growing up - but about
equipping them to deal safely with a wide range of situations.
Safety education includes:
1) The skills of hazard awareness and recognition, and risk assessment and management. Pupils will be taught about risk assessment in subjects such as design and technology, science and physical education. Safety education enables pupils to transfer this learning to other areas of their lives.
2) The factors which influence attitudes and behaviour which relate to safety. Safety education should include consideration of the stereotypes and pressures which affect risk taking, for example, media images linking driving and speed, or the influence of fashion trends on the wearing of protective equipment.
3) Personal and social skills like assertiveness are important in enabling pupils to take responsibility for their own and others’ safety: for example, when asking for help or calling the emergency services, or asking an adult to wear a seat belt or to drive more slowly.
4) The role of emotions in recognising and managing risky situations. Being able to control anger and deal with stress and fear are valuable safety- related skills
5) Playing a part in making communities safer safety education involves learning to take responsibility for social and moral issues. Discussing safety issues to do with their school and local environment can lead on to pupils taking part in activities to improve safety. It should include discussion about social and political issues,which impact on improving safety.
6) Understanding the roles of professionals and organizations concerned with safety, for example understanding the responsibilities of the school crossing patrol, a firefighter or a trading standards officer, or understanding the range of skills needed by the emergency services to deal with road accidents. Safety education also encourages pupils to assess their own skills, including those they will need to cope with future transitions in their own lives.
Generic and specific safety education
Safety education includes:
• Generic knowledge and skills which pupils can transfer to other contexts and situations. Generic skills include: risk assessment; how to give and get help; and dealing with and understanding peer and media pressure. Effective safety education can enable pupils to transfer these skills to different contexts.
• Specific knowledge and skills, which only apply to a particular context or activity. For example, cyclists need to know the regulations for cycle lights and reflectors.
Contexts for safety education