Get Back to School … Safely!
It’s nearly back to school time, and parents everywhere are beginning to shop for the clothing and supplies their kids will need. Teachers are preparing lesson plans and stocking up on supplies, summer camps are winding down, and schedules are starting to reflect the upcoming fall season.
There are a few things you’ll want to remember as you prepare your children to go back to school, including what discussions to have about safety and what products to buy to help your children avoid injury. Here are our tips:
Family Safety Talks:
1. Make sure you have several conversations about transportation to and from school. This helps children remember what the rules are regarding bus safety, carpooling, or accepting rides from other people. Decide first what your rules are, then make sure your children understand them. For example, wait for the bus on the sidewalk; never step out into the street. Remain seated during the entire bus ride. If you miss the bus, here’s how to call home. Never accept a ride from a stranger or even another parent you know without permission.
2. Talk to your children about bullying as well. While schools are working to reduce the amount of bullying our children experience, it’s still good to have the conversation. Watch a movie that will prompt the discussion, such as Ferdinand (or read the book). Talk about who bullies Ferdinand and how he handles it, and what to do if something similar occurs at school. Make sure your child knows (and feels comfortable) asking an adult for help. It’s important your child knows that no one else should inflict physical or emotional pain on them, and if it happens they need to get help right away.
3. While none of us think a school shooting can happen in our town, unfortunately it is a possibility. Research online the best ways to talk to your kids about emergency events such as this, and do your best to prepare them and discuss what actions they can take if they are in danger.
Products to Consider:
1. Look into backpacks that are safe for your child’s growing body. Some are too heavy or shaped incorrectly and pull on the child’s shoulders and spine. Consider buying a roller bag or talking to teachers about how many books children will have to carry to and from school. Also, some schools might require see-through bags to help prevent gun violence, so make sure to check before you purchase.
2. Examine new clothing and shoes for tripping hazards they might cause. For example, don’t buy shoes that are too big or clothing with ties that could cause an injury.
3. Think about snacks. If your child has allergies, pack snacks that he or she can easily keep on hand instead of reaching for school snacks that might be dangerous. Also, ask teachers if there are any children in class with severe allergies so you can avoid packing those ingredients. When parents work together, all the children in a classroom are safer.
Finally, get into a dinnertime routine now that supports healthy conversation. The more your children get used to discussing their day and the positive and negative things that happened, the more likely you are to know if there is something to be concerned about in your child’s life.