Safety in Activity Rooms
Activity rooms are areas other than gymnasiums that are used for physical activities (for exemple, concourse, empty classroom, school basement, cafeteria, stage).
The following is recommended to optimize safety when using an activity room for physical education instruction:
- An activity room is best suited for activities which have a controlled amount of activity (for example, aerobics, mat work, fitness stations, skipping, wrestling, dance, beanbag activities, and chair activities). Avoid ball-throwing for distance, dodge ball-type games and games which are “action packed” and go end-to-end (for example, tag, soccer, floor hockey).
- In game activities, implement “no body contact” rule.
- Plan activities that engage a large number of participants in small spaces that will not jeopardize safety standards.
- If the activity “room” is an open area, student traffic should go around, not through, the class.
- Structure drills to provide as much organization as possible.
- Caution students not to throw objects (for example, beanbags) against the ceiling, thereby knocking down tiles dust, lights, etc.
- Keep activity away from drinking fountains, stage steps, trophy cases, etc. Centre all activities to allow for a “safety zone” of at least one metre around the perimeter. Create visual boundaries, if possible, with cones/pylons.
- Precautions are needed to guard against doors opening into the activity area.
- Do not allow students to be involved in an activity that requires constant visual or on-site supervision while the teacher goes to the gym or to a storage area in another part of the school to get equipment.
- Check to determine if the floor surface provides safe traction and is conducive to activity (for example, not slippery from water or dirt).
- Check to determine that the equipment/furniture does not present a hazard.