In India, schooling is made mandatory for children between the age of six and 14, due to awareness with regards to the importance of education in each child’s life as they grow into mature adults. However, lately, there have been multiple debates about the need for a holistic approach to education. Some institutions and universities have successfully implemented the same. But, it needs to penetrate each and every child, which will help them in more ways than one in the longer run.
Why does one need basic safety lessons in school? Moreover, what kind of safety lessons should we (as parents or caregivers) inculcate in our children? All these questions will be discussed in this article.
The answer to our children needing basic safety lessons goes without saying since dangerous situations can arrive when least expected. In fact, in recent times we have heard stories when proper first aid was not provided to kids at school which led to amputation. Thus, it is always better to keep prepared for the worst and equip them with basic tips. Based on their age, below are a few simple lessons that can be incorporated as safety education in schools.
Look both ways: For children below the age of 10, road crossing, especially in India, needs to be carefully explained. Due to the lack of adherence to traffic rules, children need to be more alert and careful, by looking both ways before crossing the road. Preventive tips for kids are as important as medical tips since they are easier to follow and practice, with proper guidance. Reiteration of the same by teachers and bus staff has to be done on a regular basis.
Phone numbers and address: Schools, as well as parents, must make children aware of their home and school addresses to equip them with necessary information. When children are being taken on a trip or an outing, they must be made aware of the addresses of those places as well, so that in case of any unforeseen emergencies, it’s possible for them to dial emergency medical numbers and call for help.
Always stay together: If children are to walk/cycle home after school, the elders need to ensure that they don’t cycle alone or take a deserted shortcut so that in case of unforeseen emergencies, they can help each other out or ask for help and mitigate the situation until medical help arrives.
How and what to dial during a medical emergency? Children firstly need to be made aware of what are medical emergencies and when they can call for medical care. Whenever the child or anyone around him/her are in a medical emergency, they must know the numbers such as 108 or 112, or other local emergency numbers. Schools need to also demonstrate the procedure of dialing a number and reporting an emergency. This is especially helpful for kids above nine to 12 years of age.
Basic First Aid and Emergency Techniques:
How to clean the wound, apply disinfectant and put a bandage is the most basic First Aid that is simple to demonstrate, learn as well as practice when the need arises. This is for children aged seven onwards. For children older than 14, the stop, drop and roll rule can help save a life if a person or animal is on fire. The education of first aid at the primary and secondary level is very critical as kids are exposed to so many outdoor activities, the training will enable them to be an asset to the society in a time of a medical emergency.
Tying different types of knots and/or reading the direction on the compass:
Tying different types of knots to be able to get out of a deep trench or to transport an injured person is crucial during an emergency. Children aged 13 onwards can be taught such tricks that can help them during emergencies, especially those related to travel or adventure. Familiarising children with reading a compass is also important since it’s a skill that’ll help them help themselves, in case they get lost while traveling.
Lastly, the need and urge to help others must be taught as a duty and responsibility to every child. Unless sensitization is spread, it’s difficult to make the world a place where efficient and quality medical emergency care is made available to all, regardless of their locality, economic background, race or religion. Currently in India education system is too focused on educating the children on science, maths or social sciences that we overlook the need to prepare the next generation on such topics like emergency care or hygiene. Let us change this and prepare holistic and better citizens for tomorrow!