3418 Procedure – Response to Student Injury or Illness

Bellingham Public Schools staff are encouraged to become trained and/or maintain skills in recognized first aid procedures, especially through Red Cross certified providers. Staff should act in a reasonable and prudent manner in obtaining immediate care for an injured student and should exercise professional judgment and skills in aiding an injured person. Staff who aid an injured person during the school day or during a school event are protected by the district’s liability insurance if acting in compliance with the policies and procedures of the district, except when the individual is operating outside the scope of their employment or designated duties.

If immediate medical attention is required (severe bleeding, shock, breathing difficulty, heart attack, head or neck injuries) 911 shall be called. If the principal or designee is not readily available, any staff member present at the incident may make the decision to call 911. The student’s parent/guardian or emergency contact shall be notified that 911 has been called.

For non-life-threatening situations, the principal will be responsible for making the appropriate decision. In the event the principal or nurse is not available, the staff member designated by the principal to take charge in emergency situations will be responsible for the decision. For a life-threatening emergency (severe bleeding, shock, breathing difficulty, heart attack, head or neck injuries), call 911 for an aid car. The principal, nurse, responsible designated person or involved staff member should contact the parent as quickly as possible to determine whether the child should:

A. Be sent to a hospital;

B. Be sent to a doctor;

C. Be sent home; or

D. Remain at school.

If the parent/guardian cannot be contacted, staff should call the emergency number listed on the child’s enrollment card to determine the next course of action.

If a seriously ill or injured child is sent home or to the hospital by private automobile, staff should ensure that someone trained in first aid accompanies the child. This is in addition to the driver of the vehicle. Staff should not let a student walk home if the student has a high fever (102+), has a head injury or is likely to go into shock from injury. Even if the parent/guardian asks that the child be sent home, staff should not send a student home unaccompanied if the way home is not likely to be a safe route.

If illness or injury is not life-threatening, the parent/guardian should arrange transportation. If ambulance service is required, the parent/guardian should call the ambulance or permission should be secured from the parent/guardian to make that call. The student should be sent to the hospital of the parent/guardian’s choice. The hospital should be notified that the student is on the way.

If the injury is deemed to be minor, the trained staff member should:

A. Administer basic first aid to the child as necessary (following flip chart in nurse’s office or standard Red Cross procedure);

B. Notify the nurse, principal or responsible designated person. The nurse may be consulted by phone if not in the building;

C. Remain with the student until released by the principal, nurse, responsible person or the parent/guardian; and

D. The nurse, principal or other responsible person so designated should make the decision whether an ill or injured student who has received first aid should return to class. If there is any doubt, the parent/guardian should be consulted.

If a serious injury occurs during a physical education class or during an athletic team practice or game, emergency procedures will be conducted in the following manner:

A. Stop play immediately at first indication of possible injury or illness;

B. Look for obvious deformity or other deviation from the athlete’s normal structure or motion;

C. Listen to the athlete’s description of their complaint and how the injury occurred; and

D. Act, but move the athlete only after serious injury is ruled out.

The teacher or coach should avoid being hurried into moving an athlete who has been hurt. They should attempt to restore life-sustaining functions (e.g., stop/repair uncontrolled bleeding, suffocation, cardiac arrest) before moving the athlete to an emergency facility. An athlete with a suspected head, neck or spinal injury should not be moved. If no physician is available, call 911 and proceed with caution according to first aid procedures. If the teacher or coach must accompany the student to a doctor, the activity or event should cease.

An accident report must be completed by the activity director as soon as possible from information provided by the person at the scene of the accident. The written report should include a description of the circumstances of the illness or injury and procedures followed in handling it at school. A copy should be included in the student’s folder and a copy should be sent to the superintendent.

School staff may not accept and may not agree to comply with directives to physicians that would withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment from students.

Adopted/Previous Revisions: 07/29/14
Updated: 07/26/18