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Personal Safety & Injury

Schools have a unique opportunity to positively influence students through educating, role modeling, and creating healthy, safe, and accepting learning environments.

What Works?

Personal safety and injury prevention efforts in schools are best achieved by:

  • Implementing comprehensive approaches related to the three “E”s of injury prevention:
    • Education: Teaching students how to participate in an activity safely, and how to use equipment correctly.
    • Enforcement: Supervising to ensure activities are conducted a done in a safe manner.
    • Engineering: Designing physical spaces and creating policies to support students to be active in a safe way, and to avoid hazards.
  • Engaging students in exploring real-world situations and issues related to injury prevention (e.g., bicycle and pedestrian safety, proper use of sports equipment).
  • Offering leadership roles for students in safety promotion.
  • Using the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines and school board policies and procedures for activities, in order to minimize the element of risk.
  • Role modelling appropriate safety practices for students during activities inside and outside the classroom.
  • Extending injury prevention initiatives beyond the sports setting to include free play, as a large number of injuries occur during free time at school.
  • Creating a school environment where students feel like they belong (e.g. offering roles as school helpers or as reps on school committees). There is a relationship between feelings of not belonging at school and injury for younger students.
  • Creating nurturing school environments that are caring and respectful places, where students are taught to embrace and respect the uniqueness and diversity of all people regardless of race, disabilities, gender or sexual orientation.
  • Establishing positive relationships with students (e.g. listening in a supportive way, expressing interest in their life).
  • Supporting positive peer relationships.
  • Establishing voluntary peer support groups (e.g. Gay-Straight Alliances).
  • Taking proactive and reactive measures to prevent and address bullying.
  • Using the results of the school climate surveys to help inform the continuing development and improvement of school policies, practices, and initiatives.
  • Installing signage in appropriate areas of the school (e.g., anaphylaxis posters in food areas, hand washing posters near sinks, safety signs in gym).

Resources to support implementation can be found in the sections below. Educators may also contact their School’s Public Health Nurse for additional support and consultation.

OPHEA The Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines (K–Grade 12)

This resource provides the minimum standards for risk management practice for schools. Available in English and French. Updates are annually. Check for the most recent version.

Safety with Radar (JK–Grade 2)

This book contains activities and safety tips on playground safety, home safety, fire safety, trampolines, bike safety, toy safety, and common hazard symbols found on product labels. Activity books are available for ages 7 and under and 8 and up. A board game is also available. Printed versions of all three can be ordered on the site.

Stay Safe: An Education Guide to Hazard Symbols (K–Grade 4)

This resource is designed to help children recognize the hazard symbols on household chemical products. Available in English and French.

Brain Waves (Grades 4–6)

“Brain waves” is a neuroscience teaching kit available for order free of charge from Parachute Canada. Students learn about different parts of the brain, basic neuroscience vocabulary, and how and why it’s important to protect their brain and spinal cord. By bringing this program into the classroom, teachers are giving their students a new awareness of the brain and spinal cord, and providing them with simple strategies to prevent injury.

Jello-mould and helmet fitting book marks are available by contacting your School’s Public Health Nurse.

Become a SunSense School

By registering for SunSense, schools gain access to a variety of free downloadable resources related to sun safety education, policy development and shade.

Roots of Empathy (JK–Grade 8)

Contact your School’s Public Health Nurse to request the program in your school.

This program teaches “emotional literacy” where children learn to reflect on their own feelings and others feelings by observing a neighbourhood baby who regularly visits the classroom. They learn about social inclusion, human development and the uniqueness of individuals, how to challenge cruelty and injustice, and what a loving parent-child relationship looks like. Aggression levels in the classroom have been shown to decrease dramatically over the course of the year.

Student Leadership Starts with You! Facilitator’s Workbook (Grades 5–12)

Contact your School’s Public Health Nurse for local resources.

This tool is a practical guide to engaging students in authentic leadership opportunities. It offers a simple to follow 6 step process and provides template activities, resources and evaluation tools.

*Please note that this resource was designed by Peel Public Health and some of the referenced resources may not be applicable to our area.

Concussion e-Learning Module on Identification, Management and Prevention for Ontario Schools

This free e-Learning Module has been developed by OPHEA to increase awareness and understanding of concussion, and the method and strategies to be used for identification and appropriate management. The module also includes strategies and resources to assist in the education of concussion prevention. It could be used as part of your staff’s professional learning, either individually or as a group.

Concussion Recognition Tool 5

This tool helps to identify concussion in children, adolescents and adults. It also includes a list of “Red Flag” warnings to consider immediate transport by ambulance for urgent medical assessment.

Anaphylaxis in Schools Course

The free bilingual online course was developed by Food Allergy Canada (formerly Anaphylaxis Canada) and Leap Learning Technologies Inc. in collaboration with the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Sun Sense Program for Schools

Outdoor play and physical activity are essential to children’s health and development. This guide will help you to develop a policy for your school and implement procedures to make sun safety part of the school routine.

Triple P Parenting

A positive parenting program that gives parents simple tips to help manage the big and small problems of family life. Triple P Parenting can help with parenting questions from 0–16 years of age around topics such as sleep, self-esteem, not listening, aggression, family conflict – and many more! For support in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, call 1-800-660-5853 and ask about Triple P or visit

Video: Concussions 101

This video by Dr. Mike Evans illustrates concussion information for kids and parents.

Concussion Guidelines for Parents and Caregivers

Provides information for parents on concussions, the signs and symptoms, and the steps to manage a concussion.

For more information, visit our Injury Prevention web page.