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Reporting cuts and bruises at school

(4 Posts)
debs40 Wed 17-Sep-08 11:30:55

I posted before on 'play fighting' at my son's school.

He is in Year 1 and there are boys always wanting to play fight and it gets quite vicious.

Last week I spoke to the teacher because of two incidents: in one my son had been pushed over and dragged on the floor by a boy who is a bit boisterous to put it kindly. He had cuts and grazes on his head and arm. In anotehr incident he had been punched.

On both occasions, he told a member of staff rather than retaliate.

The teacher told me there is zero tolerance policy to play fighting (news to me but welcome!). She said she would talk to all staff to watch out for further incidents and keep an eye on this other boy.

I spoke to her yesterday about another issue (see God and science post!) and asked her also if all was ok in the playground. She said yes.

My son tells me this morning that he fell over while running away from this other boy yesterday who was trying to hit him. He has a big cut on his elbow which I did not see before because his dad bathed him and did bedtime last night.

He says he told a teacher and they took him inside to look at it. No one told me.

Do you think I'm being too fussy? I'm just annoyed that, after raising all this, no one thought to tell me my son had been hurt.

Does anyone know what school policy is on reporting injuries (however small)? I know in nursery they would have an accident book.

I am seeing the Head on Friday about the God thing and this but any advice/thoughts would be welcome


WigWamBam Wed 17-Sep-08 14:24:52

I think you would be right to speak again to the teacher about the fact that your son is being singled out by this boy. But I do think that in expecting to be notified of every bump, no matter how small, you are being rather optimistic. With the best will in the world, in most schools this is simply not possible.

I am a lunchtime supervisor. When we are in the playground and see a child is hurt, we send them into First Aid, where another lunchtime supervisor deals with the injury. The children know where the First Aid post is, and they know that they can go there without being sent by an adult. Every incident is written down in an accident book, and the child is given appropriate first aid. Cold compresses are applied to bumps, grazes are cleaned up and dressed, and no matter how small the injury is written in the accident book so that it can be referred back to if necessary.

The vast majority of injuries are minor cuts, bumps, scrapes and grazes, and these are not reported back to parents. Children with minor bumps to the head are given a sticker so that the rest of the staff know to keep an eye on the child. For more serious injuries we write an advice slip which goes home with the child in his or her book bag. If there is an injury which we feel the parent needs to be informed of immediately, someone is sent to telephone. On a good day on First Aid, I can write more than 150 entries into the accident book. It would not be possible in the time we have to also write a note home for every one of those injuries in the time that I have over lunchtime, and neither would it be necessary; a graze is sore but it is not serious. It would be a rare child who doesn't fall and graze their knees several times a term, and it would be an over-protective mother who expected to be notified every time it happened.

I think you need to see the teacher again, since the play-fighting is obviously continuing and children are being hurt by it. If the school has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to play-fighting then something is obviously not working and it needs to be drawn to the school's attention. You can help by making sure that you son knows that he should tell the teachers or the lunchtime supervisors how he was hurt, by whom, and what they were doing at the time - people often expect us to see every single incident in a playground, but with four adults supervising 180 Y1 and Y2 children at lunchtime (and without those eyes in the backs of our heads which could be so very useful!) it's difficult to do this and we have to rely on the children being very clear on what has happened to them.

One thing worth mentioning is that, IME, lots of children, boys in particular, don't like to tell the adults what's going on. Sometimes they feel that they need to deal with things on their own, sometimes they feel that they are big boys who don't need adults to fight their battles for them, sometimes they don't like to look weak in front of their friends (who may feel it's not cool to run to an adult for help). So often incidents like this aren't dealt with as they should be, because the children tell us they are hurt, but don't tell us how.

debs40 Wed 17-Sep-08 14:40:42

Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful reply. It has helped alot.

I can see what you mean about reporting bumps back. I suppose it is just the context of the injury occuring i.e soon after last weeks and after I'd seen the teacher about it and she promised vigilance.

Your reply certainly has helped me think about how to approach this with the school

uptomyeyes Wed 17-Sep-08 14:45:55

AT DS2's school we get a bump note explaining where on the body the injury is and how it was treated...but not how it was incurred - the children are left to explain this.

DS2 (year 2) and his mates get these at least 3 times per week, so I think at his school they they probably are reporting every little incident.

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