As a father of four children, I know that field trips are an exciting part of every school year. For the most part, my kids and their friends are eager to escape the classroom to experience learning in a more hands-on environment from time to time. However, venturing away from the typical school routine also introduces safety concerns that need to be considered by teachers, parents and students themselves.
First, teachers should obtain a signed consent form for each child, outlining the nature of the trip, appropriate dress code, and any possible risks that it entails. They should also ensure that they have updated emergency contact information for every student. Before the trip, school staff should arrange for a reasonable number of parent volunteers for a safe adult-to-child supervision ratio. As a personal injury lawyer in Toronto, I am aware of instances when the ratio was clearly not good, and neither were the resulting incidents.
Before agreeing to any field trip, parents should read the consent form thoroughly, to fully understand the risks that are involved and the proper clothing, outerwear and other supplies that their child will need. Kids also need to be sent with extra water and snacks on busy days. Parents should ensure that they can be easily reached throughout the outing, with current contact information. On the day of the trip, remind your child of basic safety precautions, such as always staying with the group and avoiding situations that may be dangerous. These safety tips will be specific to the nature of the trip, but reminding kids before they go is key.
In order to stay safe on field trips, kids should be able to identify teachers and volunteers and make sure that they can see them at all times. This is especially important while walking around busy places such as museums, where it is easy to become separated from the group. Children should also understand basic school bus safety rules. This includes remaining seated for the duration of the ride and not eating on the bus. Making safety the first priority will make the field trip an enjoyable day for everyone.