According to a study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2007, the occurrence of unintentional injuries is one of the major public health concerns of Australian children ages 0-14, while preventable injuries remain the highest amongst this segment of the population in comparison to other age groups.
The study also cited that the most common location at which five-year-olds to 14-year-olds experience injuries is the school (30%). Additionally, this age group is more likely to experience unintentional injuries when they are outside their own or someone else’s home (32%), at a sports facility (20%), and inside their or someone’s home (16%).
The school bathroom is one of the places where kids are left unsupervised by the staff and the teachers. That’s why childproofing the school’s bathroom and toilet area is highly recommended.
It is the responsibility of the school administration and the educators to ensure that these places are safe and comfortable for all kids. This is very crucial since the bathroom is a place where children are made vulnerable to sustaining injuries by health hazards.
Furthermore, there are kids who suffer from incontinence. These kids may experience wetting and soiling problems at school which can be embarrassing. It is up to the early childhood educator to address and deal with this event professionally.
What are the implications of unsafe toilets to your child’s health?
School toilet facilities are known to be a notorious problem for many school children, caretakers, school nurses, and educator. According to a survey, when kids were asked to describe their toilet facility at school, a clear scenario has emerged of poor standards in cleanliness, access, and supervision. Kids often will complain about dirty and smelly toilets in their schools, insufficient supply of soap and toilet paper. Additionally, the kids also reported that there are no towels and no access to hot water. Furthermore, the lack of privacy within the school toilet can be a problem related to bullying.
Kids often will complain about dirty and smelly toilets in their schools, insufficient supply of soap and toilet paper. Additionally, the kids also reported that there are no towels and no access to hot water. Furthermore, the lack of privacy within the school toilet can be a problem related to bullying.
According to a study, there are huge numbers of kids who avoid using the toilet facility at school to defecate. By doing so, the kids will develop constipation. One of the most important precipitating factors in recurrent urinary tract infection in kids is constipation. For kids who are suffering from involuntary urination (enuresis) and involuntary defecation (encopresis) is also causing urinary tract infection in kids.
Children tend to crouch when toilet seats are dirty rather than sit. When kids do crouch in the toilet, it prevents the complete emptying of the urinary bladder. Once the school toilet facility does not have adequate hand washing amenities, it does not encourage a habit of good hygiene which may lead to infectious disease outbreaks.
Unfortunately, experts have cited that unsafe toilets do affect the mental health of kids. Most kids have experienced bullying in school toilets. This will have negative psychiatric consequences in kids.
Teachers and school nurses do have a significant and favorable role in the health education of kids related to keeping the school toilet clean.
To fully provide the best care and attention to our young learners in terms of the bathroom and toilets at school, here are some of the safety tips that teachers should know about:
- Leaky toilets will cause slippery and wet bathroom floors. This is a major health hazard for kids. It is the responsibility of the school to verify if all bathroom and toilet facilities are functional. All leaky toilets and clogged drains must be addressed at once.
- Keep an emergency plumber’s number handy. This is someone who can attend to your needs 24/7. These experts are seasoned plumbers who can give you a hand in sorting out common toilet problems.
- Make sure that hand dryers and other electrical gadgets inside the bathroom are plugged in properly. All the sockets must be out of the children’s reach to prevent accidental electrocution.
- Children must be checked by the teachers if they are spending too much time in the bathroom. An educator should check in on them to see if they need assistance, especially if they have a known history of soiling or wetting problems.
- Coordinate with the parents if there are instances that the child has gone through toilet troubles. This discussion with the family is to ensure that that child is given ample attention and needed care.
In conclusion, educators should promote and strive for a safer school environment. Bathroom-related injuries can easily be avoided. When the bathroom is safe and free of health hazards, educators then can simply focus on what they love to do: teaching.