Protective Gear for Instructors

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teachersk, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Feb 2, 2009

    Does anyone work in a clinical or self-contained setting with students with severe aggressive behaviors (including biting, scratching, etc.)?

    I'm currently looking to find some protective gear for my staff to wear with an aggressive student. Right now we have "karate" type arm guards, but honestly they're very cumbersome and hot. The student is also able to pull them off quite easily. The student has also bitten (is that the right form of the word bite?) through the protective gear.

    I guess I'm looking for someone who has experience in this area. I've heard that Kevlar sleeves are good... but the important thing is that the gloves/sleeves need to cover mostly all of the fingers except the fingertip and go all the way up the arm. We are having trouble with staff members getting permanent scars on their fingers, thumbs, and arms due to bites, etc.

    Any ideas?

    Here's what we currently use:
    http://www.karatedepot.com/pr-pu-05.html

    The current issue is that the thumb and fingers are left quite exposed. We've been wearing baseball batting gloves under the karate guards, but I am trying to see if anyone has a better solution to this.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Feb 2, 2009

  4. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

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    Feb 3, 2009

    Teachersk-
    sorry you're having such problems. Gloves with sleeves as you describe might be available from a butcher supply company; I know individual sleeves and gloves are available. I did a quick Google search using these terms (w/o quotes) "butcher kevlar glove sleeve" and found these: http://www.askthemeatman.com/cut_resistant_gloves.htm (scroll down to see the sleeves). You can cut the fingertips off kevlar gloves, though it is a bit of work. I'd caution against the temptation to consider metal mesh gloves. I saw this attempted in a clinical setting. The person doing the biting fractured several teeth when the person being bit jerked her arm away.

    Keep in mind punctures due to the bite are only one part of the risk, there is also the danger of crush injuries. These have been more problematic than the punctures.

    There are a number of specific techniques for preventing/reducing injury due to bites. What training does your staff have to deal with the bite attempts? If the trainer is internal to your school you may be able to get some specific training or tips. IIRC, when I was a trainer in this area, about 10-15% of the class dealt with handling bites and bite attempts.
     
  5. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Feb 3, 2009

    JustJim,

    Thanks for your response. The Kevlar sleeves were recommended by our behavior specialist. We originally had some at the school for use with another student who has since moved. We were unable to locate them and I was trying to find some on the internet.

    I've seen the gloves + sleeve combo, but I was hoping to find something that was an all in one design. It seems as though it wouldn't be as hot/cumbersome if it was all in one. I don't know, though.

    Anything that would be purchased would have to be approved through our lead behaviorist who oversees all of the behavior intervention programs at our school (Ph.D., BCBA). Believe me, anything that would be a potential injury to a student would not be considered or purchased. Thanks for the warning about the tooth injury though.

    All of the staff members in my classroom as well as our school have been trained in Personal Control Techniques. This is the methodology of restraint/blocking that is used in our setting. My previous district utilized Crisis Prevention Intervention and many of the strategies are similar. Believe me, we are trained with the proper methods of blocking bites, bite releases, holds, etc. This particular student is very aggressive and very fast. Many of the control methods that are utilized and useful with other students, are not successful with this particular student. Even when placed into a standing basket hold or a full take-down, the student still manages to bite his own arms (shoulders, or whatever he can reach until we have three to four people holding him down), or wiggle his hands enough to scratch your fingers enough to cause them to bleed. We've been through many workshops on how to specifically deal with this student but we're at a loss and I'm really just looking to protect the staff in the meantime. We are always aware of safety precautions to take for ourselves and the students when utilizing these methods. A supervisor is always called to monitor the situation as well. There are many protocols to be followed.

    Crush injuries seem to be prevalent, but in our case I am worried about permanent scarring on staff members' bodies. Mostly any time this student bites, there is an incredible bruise + bite marks/teeth marks left in the skin. Some sort of protective gear to prevent these types of marks is important to me. I understand crush injuries can be serious, but for the most part do not leave permanent markings on the skin.

    Thanks again for the response! If there are any other suggestions as far as protective gear that others have used in a clinical setting, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!
     
  6. TampaTeacher2Be

    TampaTeacher2Be Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2009

    Teachersk,

    What about something like these - http://www.unitedglove.com/kevlarsleeve.htm

    They have several different kevlar glove/sleeve options, including an 18" sleeve that goes all the way up to the elbow.

    It also looks like this company does custom length kevlar gloves. Maybe it would be worth a shot an contact them and see if they would do a custom order of fingerless kevlar gloves with the 18" sleeve?
     
  7. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2009

    Teachersk,

    I had to give autism a major break after 7 years. I am now working with profoundly disabled students. There really is not much you can do with these students if you're not supplied with the expensive "Snoozelen" activities which can run into the thousands. I'm just happy that i'm not stressed out about going to work every day any more. I have less students in my current classroom. I know the feeling about why some teachers need protective gear too. There are way too many people who think that the communicative intent is related to the behavior which is not always the case. Some of our students are not given any responsibility and that's why they act out.

    aspieteacher
     
  8. Sarfraz Bhatti

    Sarfraz Bhatti New Member

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    Dec 1, 2021

    Please use safety gloves for your hand protection and face mask during COVID. Humble request..
     

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