Things That Make The School Nurse Cringe

It’s not what you might think.  Nurses don’t cringe at your run-of-the-mill blood and guts.  Bodily fluids – bring ’em on!  What I’m talking about are the “accidents-waiting-to-happen,” lurking, insidious dangers.

scooter board

Remember scooter boards?

1.  Scooter boards in P.E.  Yes they’re still around!  Yes the kids LOVE them!  It’s all fun and games until someone runs over their own fingers – that’s right, their own fingers, or someone slides right off onto their stomach, or yet another somehow flips it and bumps their head on the ground.

upside down monkey bars

Why do they love hanging upside down??

2.  Monkey bars – It’s safe to say most school nurses wish they could dismantle the monkey bars, or otherwise render them useless.  We have ALL seen injuries from this equipment – ranging from the very minor (blisters on the hands or bumps to the head) to the grotesque (my mom is a retired school nurse and had to send a student by EMS for a horrific leg injury).  Often the more serious injuries happen when the kids hang upside down.


How swings should be used.

3.  Swings – Ah, the swings.  The wind in your hair.  The freedom of gliding in mid air.  Then suddenly WHACK! – A student walks too close to the swing and gets kicked in the face – down he goes!  Or, a little one’s fingers get caught in the swing chains – sprained and bruised! Or, a student leaps off while the swing is high in the sky and they land on their arm – broken!  (True story, I’ve had a kid break BOTH arms from falling off a swing – unbelievable!).

charlie brown football

4.  Any sport with a ball – Kids love to play football, basketball, and soccer at recess.  It is supposed to be “touch” football but some students have a heavier hand than others (we’ll just put it that way).  Of course this leads to all kinds of bodily injuries.  I had a student sustain a serious eye injury from being “karate-chopped” to the face during one of these games.   And of course these tough kids get right back out there and keep playing!


Chew your food! No laughing! No talking!

5.  The cafeteria –  Can you say choking hazard and food allergy hotbed!?  I don’t even like setting foot in the cafeteria because I can’t help but see all the wide open, laughing, ready-to-aspirate mouths everywhere I turn!

field day

Field Day already??

6.  Field Day – It’s organized.  But it’s chaos.  Kids rotating through different stations, hyper from the excitement of the day.  That makes for trips, slips and falls.  But man, how they love it!

jumping rope

What could happen jumping rope??

7.  Jumping rope – This is a recent addition to my list of cringe-worthy activities.  I had a student fracture their humerus (the long bone in the upper arm) from falling while jumping rope.

So this leads me to the conclusion that, although physical activity is a vital and necessary part of the school day – injuries are bound to happen.  There’s no need to be paranoid – just be prepared, for literally anything!

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11 thoughts on “Things That Make The School Nurse Cringe

  1. Reading this takes me back to many an injury I suffered as a child! It also makes me incredibly nervous about my little one starting school. It’s not strange or odd for me to be peeping over the fence watching his every move when he starts is it?! The thought of him hurting himself & me not being there straight away breaks my heart!

    • No it’s not strange at all haha! I am lucky enough to have the choice to transfer my kids to my school – which I did last year. So Mama Bear is never far away! Hopefully there will be a caring nurse at your little one’s school 🙂

  2. OMG that little yellow thing! You are bringing back SO many memories from grammar school PE!

  3. lol! hilarious. i love the one about the cafeteria.. although i think it is a bit extreme (i mean, aren’t restaurants and work cafeterias the same scene? you gotta be ready to do the heimlech at anytime!) i totally understand what you mean about the ‘ready to aspirate mouths’. i find myself constantly telling kids to chew their food with mouths closed or better yet, to stop singing while eating. -_-

    • Thank you for your comments! And yes there are choking dangers in every situation (when I worked in a small urgent care, one doctor had to be given the Heimlich by another doctor in the break room because she was choking on a pork chop)! One big difference in school is that the children outnumber the adults like 22 to 1, and there are 700 kids in my school – lots of inexperienced little chewers all at once. Thanks again for reading 🙂

  4. Erin says:

    So funny you mention monkey bars – my nephew just broke his poor little collar bone while playing on the monkey bars! He’s only 5 too 😦 Poor guy! In other news, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I’ve really enjoyed reading your latest posts and I hope you’ll accept this award! Here’s the link nominating you:

    • Oh your poor nephew, that’s so sad!! It sounds paranoid but accidents can happen anywhere if you really think about it – I just sent a student today for stitches because of a freak accident with a pen :/ And oh thank you so much for the award!! Those are so fun! I will take the time to pass it on very soon, and I can’t wait to see all the others you’ve nominated – it’s such a great way to discover new-to-me blogs 🙂

  5. acuriousgal says:

    I have yet to sub and now I’m getting scared!! This stuff doesn’t happen in the Nursing Homes!!!

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