Field trips can be a fun way for kids to learn, but serious injury can result when safety rules are not enforced, risks aren’t properly assessed or there’s a breakdown in communication. Parents play a special role in helping schools to manage risks on field trips:
1) Carefully read the field trip material and if necessary, contact the school for clarification. This can include requesting information such as details about any past incidents, how many adult supervisors will be present, their qualifications and the educational value of the trip. Make sure you understand the purpose of the trip, proper attire and/or equipment your child needs to participate safely.
2) If you volunteer to accompany the field trip, make sure you know the safety procedures and assigned duties for each adult. Even if your school allows younger siblings to come along, consider finding other care for them so you can devote your full attention to your supervision duties.
3) Before the trip, have a talk with your child about safety precautions, such as the importance of staying with the group, and what to do if separated from the group. If you have any questions or concerns, discuss these with the school. If you still don’t feel comfortable, don’t give your child permission to go and don’t sign the permission slip.
Field trips can be interesting, enjoyable and educational if done right. It’s a joint responsibility to ensure children on the outing are kept safe every step of the way.