The safety information included in this section and within the activities is intended for use in conjunction with your own organization/board’s safety standards. Before using the activity cards, consult with your provincial, territorial, regional and/or organization’s safety guidelines or your school board's safety policies and procedures.
For the Ontario Standards, consult the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education (OPASSE). OPASSE represents the minimum standards for risk management practice for school boards. They focus the attention of educators, intramural supervisors, and coaches on safe practices in order to minimize the element of risk.
Children and youth must also begin to take responsibility from a young age for their own safety and the safety of others around them in various settings. Educators are to communicate to participants ways in which they can contribute to their own safety and the safety of others (e.g., by following rules and safety procedures, using equipment as instructed, reporting damaged equipment or facility issues to the instructor, wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, and using critical thinking skills to assess risk and taking appropriate precautions).
Before leading an activity with students, ensure the following:
- Have a fully stocked First Aid Kit available.
- Be aware of medical conditions and/or physical or cognitive disabilities that may affect participants’ involvement.
- Modify the activity according to the age, ability level, language, and experience of students, as well as the number of participants and the facility available.
- Follow your organization/board’s protocol for identifying a suspected concussion and take immediate action.
- When activities occur outdoors, environmental considerations should be considered, such as temperature, lightning, and high winds.
- Consult OPASSE Tools and Resources for more direction about various environmental conditions.
- Visually inspect the equipment and activity area to identify and remove hazards.
- Instruct participants to be aware of their surroundings and maintain a safe distance (e.g., natural structures, playing area boundary lines, the location of others, equipment).
- Participants must be instructed on the safe use of equipment prior to use.
- Participants’ clothing, religious articles of faith, footwear, and jewellery should not pose a hazard during physical activity.
- Consult the General Safety Standards for Clothing, Footwear, and Jewellery in OPASSE Tools and Resources for more information and direction.
- All activities must be supervised.
- The more effectively participants and activities are supervised the safer they become.
- Effective supervision requires the physical presence of the instructor at the activity who is vigilant in overseeing participants and the activity for management and direction.