The physical education (P.E.) classroom can be an exciting place for students, but it comes with its own safety concerns. P.E. teachers should work carefully to ensure their classrooms provide safe environments for students to play and learn together. Teachers can avoid many of these safety issues by taking proper precautions.

Equipment Handling

Unsafe handling of equipment can lead to dangerous situations. In particular, heavy equipment such as trampolines and gymnastic equipment must be carried appropriately to reduce the risk of injury. P.E. teachers should instruct their students in how to handle this equipment correctly. In addition, it is important to keep storage areas well organized so that students and teachers can retrieve the equipment and return it to its place without risking an avalanche of equipment or another safety hazard. Dangerous equipment should be stored away when not in use.

Defective Equipment

Defective equipment can lead to tremendous safety issues. A loose post or a few rusty nails can endanger students during their play. Schools, therefore, need to inspect equipment and facilities regularly to ensure that they are in working order. If possible, they should arrange for professional inspectors to examine the equipment and facilities at least once a year.

First Aid

All P.E. classrooms should have easy access to a First Aid kit, and all classroom curricula should include instruction in basic first aid procedures. In addition, teachers should make sure that there is a simple protocol for contacting emergency services and managing physical accidents.

Clothing and Accessories

Wearing inappropriate clothing during P.E. exercises can lead to injury. Players should wear sneakers or other comfortable shoes with rubber soles for most activities. Gymnasts may practice barefoot, but should not wear socks, to reduce the risk of slipping. Metal jewelry or belts can also cause injuries during a P.E. class; they should be removed before beginning instruction.