Welcome to the fourth post of the blog mini-series: Distance Learning Safety Protocols for the Educator and the Student. This mini-series was created to address various safety aspects of distance learning, including grooming, signs of child abuse, student medical emergencies, cyberbullying, and managing the online classroom. These blog posts can be used to help school districts address potential risks. Check out the blog for other posts in the series.

Responding to student medical emergencies, including choking, seizures, allergic reactions, and loss of consciousness during distance learning presents a new set of challenges for school districts. School districts need to determine what actions school district employees should take when required to address a student medical emergency in a distance learning environment. This may include calling 9-1-1 or contacting a parent or guardian. The following guidance can help school districts take a proactive approach to handling student medical emergencies.

  • If the school district has not already requested new or updated emergency cards for students, this should be done ASAP. Emergency card requests should also include contact information for whoever is home during school hours, the student's physical address, and what phone numbers are to be called in an emergency.
  • School districts should provide school district employees with a list of students with existing medical conditions or that require medication.
  • School districts should create virtual classroom protocols to be followed in the event of a medical emergency. Steps to be taken could include:
    • Students automatically being muted during live instruction
    • Relocating the injured or ill student to a private room within the distance learning platform
    • Asking an administrator to take over instruction or even ending instruction
  • School district protocols should include example scenarios to help employees determine when to call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention. For example:
    • If a student is unresponsive, call 9-1-1 and remain online with the student until EMS arrives
    • If a student is responsive and informs the school district employee they are alone, call 9-1-1 and remain online with the student until EMS arrives
    • If a student is responsive, not home alone, but no one arrives to assist the student, call 9-1-1 and remain online with the student until EMS arrives
    • If a student is responsive and receives assistance from someone in the household, ask if you need to call 9-1-1. If required, remain online until EMS arrives.
      • After EMS arrives, a school district employee should make every effort to connect with a student's parent if they have not already done so
      • The school district employee should create an action report to document steps taken and file the report accordingly

Responding to medical emergencies can be challenging for anyone, even in ideal environments. Developing a protocol gives school district employees the tools they need to act. For further assistance, please contact Risk Control.