Safety in science classrooms: five key things to consider

Science is a wonderful lesson that allows children to explore and experiment in a safe environment. However, with all the excitement comes hazard. Often, naked flames, harmful chemicals and sharp objects get used within a science lesson – all of which are extremely hazardous to children. Protecting the children and staff in the room is paramount. So, appropriate safety measures must get put in place. With this in mind, here are five things to consider when in a science classroom.

Ensure the teacher is present 

Teacher supervision is vital when managing the children in your care. Leaving your class unattended is dangerous as there is no one to manage a difficult situation. Not only this, but lack of teacher supervision makes children more likely to act up – increasing the risk of harm. If you need to leave the room, you must ensure another teacher or teaching assistant is present to take over responsibility.

Provide appropriate safety equipment and clothing 

Before experimenting in a science classroom, you must provide your children with the appropriate safety equipment and clothing. For example, all children should be provided with a lab coat, goggles and gloves when working with a live flame or chemicals.

Enforce lab safety 

Prohibition signs should be placed visibly throughout the science classroom. Signs such as no eating, drinking or running, will help children understand the boundaries in the space. However, reinforce the rules by reminding your class of them each lesson. This will help to keep order in the room and reduce the risk of harm.

Provide demonstrations before experiments 

If there is an experiment included in your lesson plan, make sure you demonstrate it. Showing your class exactly how an experiment should get done will help them to complete it safely. Not only this, but it will reduce the chance of anyone guessing what to do and doing it wrong. Therefore, making it a safe and sensible option.

Prepare for emergencies 

Naked flames and harmful chemicals all carry risks. The chance of something going wrong in a controlled environment is minimal. However, you must be prepared to get your class to safety in the event of an emergency. Making your group aware of the fire exits and escape routes in your classroom is vital. Discuss your fire safety strategy with your class and practice with them if needs be. Then, in the event of an emergency, you and your class can escape calmly and reduce the risk of harm.

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