Safety in out-of-school time programs are of the utmost priority. Specific site protocols will vary and your school or organization should have emergency preparedness procedures that your OST program follows.  Your program should include some key features ensure a safe environment that support the developmental, physical and emotional needs of participants. 

From our Best Practices safety considerations may include:


  1. Youth are registered for the program to ensure there is permission for students to attend, emergency contact and medical information is provided and staff are informed of adults that have permission to pick-up youth, as well as, providing plans for transportation home.
  2. All youth are accounted for. There is accurate attendance on who is present and may include record of class rosters, schedules, and transportation information.
  3. Youth are supervised at all times during program activities.
  4. The staff have been vetted with appropriate hiring and background checks. Additionally, the staff have been trained in emergency procedures and are certified in CPR and First Aid.
  5. The indoor and outdoor space meets state and local safety standard and emergency equipment such as fire and CO2 alarms are up-to-date and in working order. The space, equipment and materials meet the needs of participants, staff and the curriculum.
  6. Activities are developmentally appropriate. When applicable, youth undergo safety training for activities and have appropriate safety gear. (Sports, kitchen, science lab safety, etc.).
  7. Staff, youth and families are informed and familiar with emergency preparedness procedures. This may include regular drills, as well as making sure all parties are informed of the procedures.
  8. Staff, youth and families are informed and familiar with inclement weather and emergency closing procedures.
  9. Check-in and dismissal procedures are in place. The program has on record who has permission to pick-up youth and staff are aware and trained on those procedures. This may include tracking pick-up.
  10. Any food served follows proper safety procedure such as storage, handling, preparation and allergy management.
  11. Safety procedures followed and special considerations taken for school field trips.


Red Cross: Offers trainings on CPR, First Aid, AED training and more. Emergency preparedness and First Aid supplies are also available for purchase.

Stop the Bleed: In 2015, the Obama Administration launched the Stop the Bleed campaign. The goal of this campaign is to provide the general public with the awareness, knowledge, and tools necessary to stop uncontrolled bleeding and save lives.

Stop the Bleed is a free 1.5 to 2-hour training course teaches basic life-saving medical interventions, including a brief Active Shooter preparedness presentation and methods to control severe bleeding. The course was developed in response to improve survival during active shooter and other mass casualty events. In these circumstances, survival begins with bystanders. Courses in Northern Virginia are taught by Center for Wilderness Safety and information can be found on the Stop the Bleed site. For all other trainings, see