Accidents During Physical Education

Physical education teachers have a very important responsibility when it comes to the supervision of their classes. A big part of their job is making sure to avoid the risk of accidents.
Accidents During Physical Education

Last update: 10 March, 2020

Accidents that occur at school, especially during physical education classes, have a high ranking when it comes to childhood injuries. The materials they use, the conditions of the installations, the movements and risks of each particular discipline and even behavior are oftentimes the cause. Although some things can’t be avoided, most injuries are preventable.

Physical education teachers should maintain strict control of each student’s physical state of health. Of course, the participation of families in this regard is fundamental. Before the beginning of each school year, each child should, without fail, present a signed health certificate from his or her pediatrician indicating any conditions or limitations.

The environment where children participate in different games, sports, and other experiences also plays a major role. It’s the responsibility of every teacher to verify and report any risk present in the installations to the school authorities. 

The same is true regarding any type of equipment that students use in class. And school authorities must take proper action to eliminate these problems as well.

The most common school accidents during physical education class

  • Clinical damage as a result of overexertion in students that have preexisting medical conditions. This also includes doing exercises that aren’t age-appropriate or failing to warm up beforehand.
Accidents During Physical Education

  • Contusions or trauma during activities like javelin throwing, shot put, etc.
  • Falls while practicing group disciplines in space that’s not suitable for the activity. The consequences can vary from mild to severe.
  • Water accidents while children are carrying out activities in the pool without proper supervision from their teachers. In general, these accidents occur because teachers leave students alone in the pool, or because of children running in the pool area.
  • Lesions that result from broken glass or falling against sharp objects that are in or around the area where children carry out their activities.
  • Falls from trees, roofs, and other high places when children go in search of some object, such as a ball.

How to prevent accidents during physical education?

Prevention is a general rule when it comes to keeping children free of injury and avoiding legal problems. Accidents can be mild, moderate, severe, and even fatal. Therefore, assuring the safety of every participant is the best option.

  • Periodically evaluating the physical health of students.
  • Carrying out physical and psychological preparation before carrying out activities that involve physical exertion. The purpose here is to guarantee children have confidence in themselves.
  • Never leaving students alone under any circumstances.
  • Demanding the proper maintenance of installations and materials that students use for each discipline.
  • Contracting an insurance plan in the case of any grievances.
  • Contracting proper insurance for transportation when traveling to camps or school excursions.
  • Designating tasks, roles, places, and everything else that keeps group activities in order and facilitates supervision by the teacher.
  • Not crowding the spaces during athletic activities where students can bump into one another.
  • Possessing knowledge of first aid and CPR.

What to do if an accident occurs at school?

  • If a child has an accident despite applying all of these preventative measures, it’s important to act right away. Keeping a level head should be a priority in order to act reasonably and keep students calm. Teachers should request the help of an adult, apply first aid and, if necessary, call 911.
Accidents During Physical Education

  • Calling parents or legal guardians in the case that an accident has occurred and soliciting their presence.
  • If a child is in need of medical attention, the school should make sure the child has proper transportation and gets the care he or she needs.
  • Filing an incident report with all of the details regarding the incident.

Knowledge of all preventative measures and working together if an accident occurs are fundamental. Authorities will analyze all of these points if any legal complaints are made in regard to an accident at school.

Therefore, it’s always important that schools have proper insurance and work in a responsible manner.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.