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Family | September 10, 2014

Back to School Safety

Apple on blackboard

Whether your little ones are off to school for the very first time or they feel like old salts by now, they are never too seasoned for a review of back to school safety. Spend some time talking to your kids about how to make school a safe place so that every day can be focused on learning (and a little bit of fun, too)!

The first thing to think about: Transportation safety.

How are your children getting to school? Are you driving them yourself? Will they take the bus? Carpool with a classmate? Bike or walk? Regardless of the mode of transportation, be sure you child is aware of the specifics:

  • Choose a safe place to wait for the bus, carpool driver, or parent.
  • Drive, walk, or bike the route together so that your child is comfortable with what he or she will see along the way.
  • Point out friendly locations along the way: police stations, security guards, and homes of friends who can lend a helping hand if necessary.
  • Practice looking both ways before crossing the street.
  • Introduce yourself and your child to the school crossing guard. A comforting wave will make mornings a little more special.

Next up: Health.

When it comes to the health of your child, you’ll need to consider both school requirements and daily hygiene. Make sure you have crossed all of these off your checklist:

  • Update all of your child’s medical records and contact information and take both to the school nurse.
  • Check on allergies and be sure your little one’s homeroom teacher and nurse are aware of them. If necessary, provide both of them with an epipen.
  • Complete all state vaccination requirements. This can be time consuming, so start early.
  • Talk about the importance of washing your hands throughout the day.

Other Safety Concerns

You know the ones we mean, the little stumbles and fumbles that could result in a trip to the nurse’s office and an unhappy afternoon. Here are some steps you can take to stay ahead of the mishaps:

  • When choosing your child’s backpack, make sure that it is the appropriate size. Tighten straps so that they do not get caught or cause any problems. If you’d like to monogram the backpack, stick to initials only. Having your child’s full name listed puts him or her at risk of being called out to by a stranger.
  • Talk about playground safety and the importance of playing nicely with classmates. Many schools restrict running to certain portions of the playground. Be sure that your child knows and respects those rules.
  • Have a plan for what your little one can do after school. Talk to your child about it each morning so that there is no confusion or possibility of getting into trouble.
  • Be sure your child knows your home address and phone number, and preferably the number of a trusted neighbor.

Now, give those students big hugs and send them off with the knowledge that you are a proud parent!

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