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  • Writer's pictureIan Buss

Guidance for School First Aiders

With phased re-opening under way, now is an ideal time to review and check your First Aiders updated responsibilities. The government has published guidance for first responders during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In the current climate, it is important for school first aiders to be aware of the risks to themselves and others. Where it is not possible to maintain a 2 metre or more distance away from an individual when providing first aid, schools should ensure the following PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is available:

  • disposable gloves

  • disposable plastic apron

  • eye protection (E.g. visor or goggles) if there is a risk of droplets

  • resuscitation face shield if the decision is made to perform mouth to mouth CPR – as per your First Aid training.

Schools should continue to remind their first aiders to clean their hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol sanitiser before putting on and after removing PPE.  The government has produced easy to follow information posters on putting on and removing PPE for display:  The Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust has put together a video available by YouTube on how to correctly wear and remove PPE:  The Resuscitation Council (UK) has provided some useful advice on how to stay safe when providing CPR and you can read their full advice HERE. The government guidance also details the precautions to take when providing assistance to unwell individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19 and how to effectively clean and disinfect the area:

  • the person should be placed away from others (ideally in a designated area to deal with people who has Covid-19 symptoms) and where this is not possible, those not involved should be asked to leave the area or remain at least 2 metres away

  • cleaning the area where assistance was provided should follow the advice for cleaning in non-healthcare settings

  • areas where the individual has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, should be cleaned the usual way. All surfaces that the individual has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected.

Anyone who has had close contact with the individual must be advised on what to do if they develop systems of COVID-19 and to follow the advice on the NHS website. The full government guidance can be found by following this hyperlink. At Education Banking Consultancy, like most individuals working in schools, we are not Health & Safety professionals. With increased and rapidly changing risks, Health and Safety is one area I would seriously consider getting external, expert, support with. There are many companies offering Health & Safety support to schools but the organisation I have worked with most and have the greatest respect for is Judicium Education. They only work for and with schools and have built an incredible expertise in the sector.  If you do not already use Judicium but would like a , no obligation quote, do let me know and I can introduce you. For new clients, introduced through the Education Banking Consultancy, you will receive a discount or rebate of 10% of your first years fees.

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