While back to school is still not quite back to normal this year, one thing remains the same: recess! Playground safety is a big priority and a large part of the precautions you implement throughout the school. That’s because every child’s favorite class is a hot spot for accidents: it’s estimated that 200,000 children aged 14 and younger are treated for playground injuries every year.
Getting your campus child-safe is one thing. Keeping it safe is another, especially during the pandemic. But don’t forget your regular safety concerns, because they’re still here. This high- level safety checklist is a good reminder of how widespread your risks can be.
3 Main Safety Tips For Playgrounds And Other School Risk Exposures
Your school playground was an expensive investment, with some manufacturers suggesting an expenditure of $1000 for every child expected to use it. Keeping that investment in good shape protects both children and your budget.
1. Inspect the playground and equipment. Step outside to check for and address:
- Loose hardware, broken pieces, frayed or cut ropes, and rust on equipment
- Tripping hazards such as tree branches, roots, broken pavement, toys
- Water collection areas
- Areas that need resurfacing
- Nets that need to be restrung, or balls, bats, and other equipment that have seen better days and need to be replaced
- Signs that need repainting
- Bees and wasps that need relocating
- Trash containers: new, additional, when and where emptied, and where placed
A little maintenance and care keep your playground safe for enthusiastic students during their favorite time of the day.
Next, it’s a time to:
2. Take a look at your school’s playground safety plan. Among suggested items and actions are to:
- Develop a robust schedule of teachers and aids on playground and cafeteria duty
- Review entrance and exit protocols, security staffing, and equipment
- Review allergy protocols such as peanut-free zones, classroom snack rules, and medical treatments
- Stock and/or provide: first aid kits, walkie-talkies, whistles, safety vests or helmets
- Review emergency contact information and protocol
- Review bus zone, pick-up, drop off, and traffic safety
- Review parent reunification: who can pick up the child and contact information
- Review emergency response for fire drills, intruders, disasters, and accidents
- Schedule drills with staff and students
- Institute volunteer clearances and background checks
- Make sure that school floor plans and area maps are up-to-date, along with clearly marked exit paths and meeting points
- Review the plan with staff, including substitute teachers
Your school may include different or additional safety requirements than what is listed here. It could also cover points differently at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. And, of course, your plan will need to be fluid to address COVID-19 protocols when mandates change in your area. But, with all of this in mind, it’s clear to see that developing and following a safety plan is more critical than ever to ensure student and staff safety this school year.
After your safety planning, it’s a good time to:
3. Investigate solutions to the school’s financial risk exposure. Regardless of the best planning and precautions, one of the biggest financial risks to the school budget is accidents to students, whether on the playground or somewhere in the school or gym.
- When students are injured, families are left covering the medical expenses. While some families have personal health insurance to help with the costs, they’ll still pay out-of-pocket expenses like copayments and deductibles. Or, if they don’t have coverage, they’re stuck with all of the medical expenses.
- Unpaid medical bills are Americans’ biggest source of debt owed to collection agencies. Families who find themselves owing money for medical care could turn to your school for financial relief. This may expose you to unwanted litigation and attention in the community.
- Many K-12 schools take advantage of student accident insurance to keep this from happening.
- Student accident insurance helps cover the out-of-pocket expenses from a child’s injury treatment, removing or lessening their family’s financial burden.
A-G Administrators has been helping schools with this type of coverage for nearly 40 years with three flexible plans.
A-G Has 3 Ways To Protect Your School From The Financial Risk Of Accidents
Our flexible coverages offer you choices to fit your situation’s needs and budget. For example, all plans help cover medical expenses due to accidents, but there is a difference in who pays for the insurance and the time frames covered. Plans can be tailored for your unique needs and include:
- Mandatory Plans where parents are responsible for paying the affordable premiums: this option incurs no premium cost when the school makes it available
- Compulsory Plans where the school pays the premium
- Voluntary Plans the parent can purchase for around-the-clock coverage (interscholastic sports and catastrophic plans are also available)
These options make it easy to help mitigate the financial risk of accidents while you’re doing the hard work of reducing the risk of them happening. We also offer industry-leading claims management services that practically eliminate red tape and control expenses with more than 40+ provider networks nationally. This is especially important with our compulsory plans, where the school pays the premiums.
3 Ways To Learn More About A-G’s Accident Solutions
If you’d like to learn more about adding A-G to your school’s safety checklist, we’re here to help. It’s easy to find out more.
When you’re ready, you or your insurance agent/broker can request a quote .
During this time when so much is riding on your students’ safety, A-G can help take some of the burdens from you and give you back some control. We look forward to discussing our financial risk solutions with you.