Keep children inside the school premises in case of a terrorist attacks in the city, do not send them home, says a safety manual issued to all the pre-schools in Mumbai. The manual, designed by experts in early childhood education and care, has laid down safety measures for pre-schools to follow during emergency situations.
In absence of any guidelines or regulations by government on the safety of pre-schools, Early Childhood Association (ECA), a group of pre-schools, has come up with a safety manual. This manual was distributed in 20 Mumbai schools and around 60 schools across the country on Friday.
This manual guides schools, crèches and day-care centers on various safety aspects ranging from standard operating procedures in event of terrorist attacks, outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola or dengue to anger-managements tips for the staff.
“All schools have safety norms given by the police or by their respective boards, but the pre-schools, so far, did not have any such norms in place, “said Swati Popat Vats, president of ECA and Podar Education Network, and one of the authors of the manual.
Kamini Rege, joint-secretary of ECA and Reeta Sonawat, executive director of ECA and HoD of human development at SNDT Women’s University, Churchgate and Santracruz were the co-authors of the manual.
The manual was prepared after surveying and studying measures taken by the pre-schools internationally. “We found that internationally schools are better prepared, they have SOPs to handle all kinds of situations,” Vats said.
Checklists on administering first aid, handling fractures and burns, ensuring safety during field trips, health and safety management including measures to be taken when a child suffers from high fever or an asthma attack in school are few of the topics mentioned in the manual.
It also includes safety measures that parents can take in the house. “Parents should childproof each and every part of the house, take care while driving when children on board and also talk to children about good touch and bad touch,” said Sonawat.