This was not covered in teacher’s college! It seems like this may not necessitate a blog post however, things may not seem quite so clear in the middle of a smelly, projectile situation as they do while quietly sitting reading a post! There is a sort of standard procedure that is not really written down anywhere that may take a few goes at dealing with a students being sick before you really understand the unwritten etiquette of this sticky situation!
First of all, if you are able, go to the student to see if they need help – can you hold their hair or clothing out of the way? If you are not able (due to gag reflexes) it is ok to keep your distance until the student is done throwing up. We will not judge you.
While the student is being sick, keep other students away and give the student space. Of course, it is best if you see the child looking unwell to direct them to a sink or the bathroom – should you be so lucky!
When the student is done, help them to avoid stepping in or in any way getting more of the vomit on themselves. A track of vomit through your class is best avoided… Again, if you are able, take them to the sink to help them clean up a bit. If you are not able, then move straight to the next step.
Call the office and tell them you need the caretaker because someone has just been sick. If the children are old enough, send someone with the child to the office. If the children are not old enough, ask for someone to come and get the child to take them to the office.
Move your class out of the room to another room until the caretaker is able to clean up the mess and open some windows. Other students may have gag reflexes and you don’t want anymore children being sick, or stepping in the vomit despite the literal fort of chairs you made around it.
Be sure to remind children not to laugh at or make fun of the child who has been sick. Good luck!
The above information has been of a great help. This happened to me today in my class I’m a caring grade 3 teacher. I only sent a child to the cleaner for assistance with a learner who threw up. It was beyond what I ve experienced. To my surprise she refused and told the child that she’s not responsible for cleaning learner’s vomit
Hi Glory – thanks for your comment! You must be teaching summer school! The caretakers are only responsible for cleaning up the vomit on the floor, not on the student. If you are able to help the child clean up, that’s good. If not, an educational assistant, an office administrator or the principal may help the student get clean. If nobody is able to help the child, then the parent will help the child clean up when they come to pick her up.
I have done that before