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#1 Posted : 20 September 2006 14:31:00(UTC)
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Posted By Martin_p A pupil at school has just had her ears pierced. Earrings should not be removed for x number of weeks following piercing. Should this pupil be prevented from doing PE? What about the benefits of doing physical exercise compared to the risk of injury due to earrings?
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#2 Posted : 20 September 2006 14:34:00(UTC)
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Posted By Smiff What's the worst thing that could happen? Anything bar rugby should be safe I'd have thought.
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#3 Posted : 20 September 2006 14:36:00(UTC)
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Posted By Renny Thomson Why not tape the earrings to prevent them getting caught in activities? Assess the risk of them getting caught as many PE activities will be of low risk. However, some include possible contact, so should be assessed as a higher risk. Does the LA/LEA not have any policy on this? It can't be a unique problem.
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#4 Posted : 20 September 2006 14:43:00(UTC)
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Posted By Martin_p The Local Authority's policy is to leave it up to each school to decide their own policy. I'm on the Board of Governors at the school and I want to be able to offer some advice on what the policy should be - yes there is a policy that no jewellery is worn at school, but what should happen when it is? As in this case the earrings can't be removed.
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#5 Posted : 20 September 2006 15:01:00(UTC)
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Posted By Darren J Fraser If the earrings are hoops, there may be a slight risk of being caught, more likely to be studs and therefore most difficult to remove accidently. Have the activities been risk assessed and wearing of jewellery identified as a hazard with a high risk ? - unlikely Is there a real risk ? - cannot thing of any. Have the parents of the child concerned contacted the school with concerns ? - unknown. No jewellery policy - does that include staff ? -unlikely, therefore how can it be enforced. Is this more to do with any possible compensation / insurance ? - most likely sounding reason. "Get a life", says HSC The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has urged people to focus on real risks – those that cause real harm and suffering – and stop concentrating effort on trivial risks and petty health and safety. To help take this forward the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a set of key principles: practical actions that we believe sensible risk management should, and should not, be about. Launching the principles at a children’s sailing centre in north London, Bill Callaghan, Chair of the HSC, said: “I’m sick and tired of hearing that ‘health and safety’ is stopping people doing worthwhile and enjoyable things when at the same time others are suffering real harm and even death as a result of mismanagement at work. “Some of the ‘health and safety’ stories are just myths. There are also some instances where health and safety is used as an excuse to justify unpopular decisions such as closing facilities. But behind many of the stories, there is at least a grain of truth – someone really has made a stupid decision. We’re determined to tackle all three. My message is that if you’re using health and safety to stop everyday activities – get a life and let others get on with theirs.” Sensible risk management IS about: Ensuring that workers and the public are properly protected; Providing overall benefit to society by balancing benefits and risks, with a focus on reducing real risks – both those which arise more often and those with serious consequences; Enabling innovation and learning, not stifling them; Ensuring that those who create risks manage them responsibly and understand that failure to manage real risks responsibly is likely to lead to robust action; and Enabling individuals to understand that as well as the right to protection, they also have to exercise responsibility. Sensible risk management IS NOT about: Creating a totally risk free society; Generating useless paperwork mountains; Scaring people by exaggerating or publicising trivial risks; Stopping important recreational and learning activities for individuals where the risks are managed; and Reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm and suffering. Commenting on the principles Jonathan Rees, HSE Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We want to cut red tape and make a real difference to people’s lives. We are already taking action to put the principles into practice. Last month we published, straight-talking guidance on risk management, but we cannot do this alone. That’s why I welcome the broad alliance of support for this initiative – organisations representing employers, workers, insurers, lawyers, volunteers, health and safety professionals and many others who have made positive contributions to our approach. “These principles build on all of this and will hopefully drum home the message that health and safety is not about long forms, back-covering, or stifling initiative. It’s about recognising real risks, tackling them in a balanced way and watching out for each other. It’s about keeping people safe – not stopping their lives. Source http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2006/c06021.htm
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#6 Posted : 20 September 2006 15:03:00(UTC)
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Posted By Martin J Morley Many counties refer to national guidance produced by baalpe, now the Association for Physical Education (afPE), for policy advice. Most schools will have policies that prevent children and staff from taking part in activities where there is a ny risk of contact, either with other children or apparatus whilst wearing any jewellery. Taping is seen by some as an option, but metal will usually beat tape in any contact. If the school has a clear policy, communicated to the parents, then this problem should not occur too frequently.
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#7 Posted : 20 September 2006 15:27:00(UTC)
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Posted By Martin_p Martin, thanks for the advise on Association for Physical Education - I will raise this with the school. Darren, how have you assessed that there is only a slight risk of earrings being caught? I can assure everyone that this is a genuine concern for the safety of the children at the school, not simply trying to prevent the school being sued.
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#8 Posted : 20 September 2006 15:43:00(UTC)
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Posted By Alan J White As a school governor, reponsible for h and s for the governing body, the subject is not new to me. Our school is a Primary school and this is a problem from year 4 onwards nearly every year. The earings will be studs if a new piercing (always are) and our PE is fairly non-contact, so we took the line of tape over stud No jewelery can be worn after the 6 weeks has passed as no jewelery in school is a standing rule. So far after 3 years this has worked well and is reflected now by the LEA information now put out by them. Good Luck, Alan
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#9 Posted : 20 September 2006 15:50:00(UTC)
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Posted By Gilles27 Martin, In a formal policy on jewellery you could advise parents to do ear-piercings at beginning of summer holiday. My daughter had to wait until start of school holidays so that a) they could be removed for PE and b) so she could do it herself. My local school enforces no jewellery for PE and children must be able to remove/replace all jewellery themselves. I don't think they are able to wear necklaces either. Seems fair to me. Unsure how they stand on belly buttons and noses etc. but presume thats the same. Its an out of city junior school that still has a uniform by the way so they may not have felt the need to extend the jewellery policy to belly/noses etc.
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#10 Posted : 20 September 2006 16:16:00(UTC)
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Posted By Glyn Atkinson Would it be an idea with a stud earring to have a small piece of Playdoh or Plasticine or similar to the rear of the lobe, so that if the ear is banged, the stud length cannot penetrate the skin above the jawline? That method is commonly used by amateur macho footballers who then tape over front and back of the lobe with surgical tape, easy and safe.
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#11 Posted : 20 September 2006 16:55:00(UTC)
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Posted By Darren J Fraser Martin - reason stated slight risk is due to more than 10 years playing rugby (flyhalf when lighter, now prop forward (wifes cooking)) whilst wearing a stud, never had an incident, or hear of anyone else, 2 daughters wearing studs at school and never having an incident whilst competing in sports (hockey, basketball, tag rugby etc) neither did their friends.
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#12 Posted : 20 September 2006 16:59:00(UTC)
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Posted By Martin_p Thanks to everyone for their contribution, I can now go to the Governor's meeting with a bit more information. I've had one final thought; children are vulnerable due to their age and inexperience. Children have been killed whilst on schoold trips. I think it is dangerous to start looking for things to put under the 'conkers bonkers' banner. Yes, we shouldn't be stopping kids doing activities, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't put controls in place to protect them. I have one child who does gymnastics, and I have another who does taekwondo. I wouldn't dream of stopping them because it's too dangerous. I would however expect the instructors to be trained and have measures in place to minimise the risk of injury.
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#13 Posted : 20 September 2006 17:13:00(UTC)
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Posted By Martin_p Darren, I posted my reply before I read yours. I've also never heard of anyone being injured due to wearing studs, but it does appear to be common policy - kids doing gymnastics / taekwondo aren't allowed to wear them. I also didn't want to give the impression that I think kids could be killed due to wearing them - on re-reading my reply it did appear over-dramatic. What I meant was that I don't think the "sensible risk management" thing means that controls shouldn't be put in place, it means that activities shouldn't be banned due to 'health and safety' - they should happen but in a safe way.
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