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Safety

Background
Preventable injuries kill more children than any single disease, and more than 700 Canadian children and youth die every year due to preventable injury (Parachute, 2013). Young people are more likely to act impulsively and with gut instincts when faced with stressful or emotional decisions resulting in unexpected behaviour and poor decision-making. Children may not fully appreciate the immediate consequences of their actions due to limited experience and judgment. While the actions of children can be unpredictable, injuries do not have to be. By taking the time to learn how injuries occur, creating safer spaces, and creating clear safety rules, educators have the ability to significantly reduce childhood injuries.

Lesson Plans

  • Ontario Road Safety Resource – For Kindergarten to Grade 12. This website houses Ontario’s road safety education resource developed in partnership between the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario and the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association. Search these resources by grade level or topic to find division level information, cross-curricular lesson plans, and community engagement toolkits.
  • TD Think First for Kids – For Kindergarten to Grade 8. This teacher resource meets Ontario curriculum requirements and is endorsed by Curriculum Services Canada. The program was developed by a multi-disciplinary team including teachers, curriculum experts, doctors, and neuroscientists. It teaches children how to think first and play safely to prevent brain and spinal cord injuries.  The resources are available free for order and come in a set with four binders, divided by grade level. Available in both English and French.

Curriculum Supports

  • There’s a Monkey on My Street - Electronic Story Book – Suggested for Kindergarten to Grade 3.  This free web-based story book tells a story about a little girl named Hannah who teaches her friend, Little Monkey, all about bicycle and road safety.  Test your student’s knowledge using the quizzes included at the end of this story book.  You can also have your students sing along with these “Monkey on My Street” inspired safety songs  (lyrics and MP3s available).
  • Parachute Canada Safety Programs – Parachute offers many programs across Canada that are designed to raise awareness of safety risk to reduce childhood injury. Some of the programs include: Brain Day, Helmet Programs, Smart Hockey, Safe Crossing (railway).Electronic resources are available.

SMDHU Programs
The health unit also offers a variety of programs and services for elementary schools (PDF), covering a wide range of health-related topics.

Additional Resources

  • Active and Safe Routes to School and School Travel Planning – ASRTS aims to reduce traffic congestion around schools through strategies such as School Travel Planning, provides opportunities to teach children road safety skills, and empowers parents to advocate for best routes to schools.
  • Ophea Safety Guidelines: Concussion Protocols – These newly released concussion protocols are available for free to elementary (and secondary) schools in Ontario, and include three modules. Each module includes curricular, interschool and intermural guidelines.
  • Parachute Canada Concussion Resources – This includes general information about concussions, concussion guidelines and information on returning to play, and additional information which may assist educators and coaches in recognizing and supporting students who have sustained a concussion.
  • Ophea Safety Guidelines – This online resource outlines the minimum standards for risk management practice for School Boards. They outline the safe practices for every activity, in order to minimize the element of risk. Useful tool for teachers, intramural supervisors, and coaches.
  • Young Cyclist Guide (Elementary) and Cycling Skills (Secondary) – These Ministry of Transportation resources include information for young cyclists about bicycle equipment, riding tips, and the rules of the road.  Encourage students to review this information on their own, or as part of a classroom assignment, to teach them how to stay safe while cycling.

Please visit the child safety section of the health unit’s website for more information related to pedestrian, playground, helmet and home safety for children and youth.

Parents and caregivers should not hurry to move their child to a booster seat. Children must weigh at least 18 kg (40 lbs) and meet the height guidelines in their booster seat user guide. For more information on the safe transport of elementary school aged children visit Transport Canada’s webpages on booster seat safety and when to transition to a seat belt.

Are you concerned about a student and/or would like additional information related to counselling or community supports? Find out where to get help. 

Staff at the health unit are currently reviewing recommended lesson plans and curriculum supports for educators to align with Ontario’s 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Please use your discretion in determining which lesson plans and curriculum supports to use in your classroom. Updated and new resources will be posted online as available. 

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