How the use of arm guards for special needs can increase job satisfaction for teachers and professionals working in special education
Just how important is job satisfaction when it comes to our mental health? Clearly there’s a relationship between the two and identifying those sources of dissatisfaction could be the path to greater well-being.
The Health and Safety Executive says that “Your employer must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this”. This includes assessing all risks, telling you about the risks, telling you how you are protected from the risks and instructing and training you in how to deal with them. All very well in theory, but what can schools, and school staff, do to protect themselves from being hurt? In the past, home-made solutions were being used, such as bandages around the forearm, thick jackets etc, and more and more teachers are becoming aware of the use of arm guards for special needs.
Children with special needs and learning difficulties are more likely to be aggressive than others. Schools need to make risk assessments for these children, and make sure the staff working with them are fully aware of the risks and are trained in how to handle them, and, where the risk assessment shows a need, provide them with bite resistant arm guards and clothing.
While some children with autism show few signs of challenging behaviour, others can show physical aggression as well as destructiveness. Examples of this would include self-injury from eating toxic or inedible foods, damaging objects in an act of aggression, running away from family members while outside and general forms of tantrums which escalate.
Given that all children act-out, it may seem difficult to identify and foresee the levels of violence that would warrant the use of arm guards in special needs schools. After all, someone with autism may simply be venting their anger just as someone without autism would. But there is a clear distinction between the two with ‘challenging behaviour’ becoming more of a meltdown than any childlike tantrum. With far more intensity and loss of control, there’s always the risk of injury, meaning intervention becomes a necessity, and that is when the risk of being bitten or scratched is higher, and that is when wearing arm guards will reduce the damage that an injury will have on the teacher.
The complexities of autism can make it especially difficult to pin point why these incidents occur. It may be due to several reasons ranging from sensory issues to anxiety, frustration or simply exhaustion. Senses can be heightened or masked for those with autism which would explain a lot of incidents. Take for example a child who bangs their head repeatedly against a table. It’s alarming and clearly self-destructive but would not appear so from the child’s point of view. They may be carrying out this act as a way to comfort themselves or distract from anxiety. Their pain threshold may be far higher than the average neuro-typical person while their sense of physical awareness is masked. Thus, they feel the need for strong stimulus. Teachers often imagine that wearing any protection would be obvious to the pupils, and intimidating, but it is not the case with our arm guards designed specifically for special needs.
Why is it important to use arm guards for special needs?
While where are many violence reduction techniques that professionals use to de-escalate potential violent situations and behaviours, sometimes those can be unpredictable, and additional protection, such as bite resistant arm guards are essential for the safety of teachers.
BitePRO® Arm Guards are manufactured using Cut-Tex® PRO, our ground-breaking bite resistant material that reduces the risk of human teeth from penetrating the wearer’s skin. It’s hard to imagine that a lightweight and flexible fabric could work as effective protection against human bite injuries.
Primarily designed to resist cuts, abrasions and tears, Cut-Tex ® PRO naturally lends itself well to protection against human bite injuries. Latex ® free, Cut-Tex® PRO can be worn against the skin. The fabric is exceptionally durable and can withstand regular washing and wear. Cut-Tex ® PRO offers the highest level of cut, abrasion and tear resistance, according to the British and European BS EN 388:203 as well as ISO 13997:1999 and ASTM F-1790 standard.
Got a question, or wondering if our BitePRO® arm guards are right for you? Visit our website today (www.bite-pro.com) and use our Live chat facility, to talk to our knowledgeable Sales Team