Public and Catholic schools in Edmonton are banning non-breakaway lanyards after a Grade 3 student in southern Alberta was almost strangled by one last week.

The Catholic board suspended the use of all lanyards Monday but after receiving information from Alberta Education limited the ban to non-breakaway lanyards.

"It's truly a tragic accident," said public school spokesperson Jane Sterling. "If this is all we have to do to make sure students are safe in those situations, we're absolutely going to do it."

Elementary schools use lanyards for students who have been given permission to leave the classroom.

A Grade 3 student from Bearspaw School northwest of Calgary is in critical condition after he was found by another student unconscious in a washroom at noon. His lanyard had been caught on the washroom cubicle door.