PW 0842 Safe fall, safe schools: teaching how to fall. A necessary content in the future teaching curricula

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Abstract

The World Health Organization reports falls as the world’s second leading cause of death from unintentional injuries in children and has called for research and educational programs in this area. The scientific community states that the head and the support of the upper extremities are the most serious and frequent impact points in a fall. Likewise, it is established that the height of the fall is fundamental in the severity of the injury. The aim of this study is to prove that the implementation of the Safe Fall program in the Physical Education classes of Elementary, Middle and High school can contribute to reducing the harmful consequences of unintentional backward falls in the child population, by assimilating protected and safe ways of falling. A quasi-experimental research design was applied. The sample consisted of 752 schoolchildren (age M=10.2, SD=2.5), at state Elementary, Middle and High schools in Seville, Andalusia, Spain. Data was collected using the INFOSECA ad-hoc observation scale, which registers 3 basic elements during the process of a safe and protected backwards fall: position of neck, hands and hips. Descriptive, correlational and contrast statistics were applied. The criterion for considering statistical significance was p<0.05 in the McNemar test. Following the application of the Safe Fall program, results showed that the students have assimilated the learning of a safe and protected way of falling for the head (p<0.001), hands (p<0.001) and hip (p<0.000), there being no differences according to sex. The teaching of safe and protected techniques for falling backwards in the child population in Primary and Secondary Education is possible through the implementation of the Safe Fall program in Physical Education classes, contributing to the overall goal of reducing the risk and severity of injuries produced by falls.

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