This article, entitled "Back to School Safety," comes from Erin Ferris at Chasing Roots.
To the delight of some and the dismay of others, the fall school semester is just around the corner.
Though I’ve prioritized spending time with my kids and enjoying these last few relaxing and low-key summer days above all else, I realize that the time has come to begin preparations to send them back to school. There are clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, and school supplies to purchase; orientations and meet-the-teacher nights to attend; after-school sports, clubs, and activities to register for; sports physicals, vaccinations, and dentist appointments to take care of; and new schedules to implement. Excuse me for a moment while I practice deep-breathing exercises to slow my suddenly-racing heart…
That lengthy sentence above basically covers everything on my previous year's back-to-school to-do list. My current back-to-school to-do list looks similar, but one significant addition stands out: I’ve added “review school safety guidelines” to the number one slot.
Aside from preparing my son – and his teacher, school nurse, and school administrators – to handle his asthma and severe peanut allergy, I didn’t worry a great deal about school safety last year. I knew that, as a kindergartener, my son would fall into the youngest and therefore most supervised class of kids at his elementary school, and I planned to greatly reduce the risks associated with traveling between home and school by walking him to and picking him up from the front door every morning and afternoon.
But now that kindergarten is behind us and we’re moving on to first grade, my thoughts on school safety have evolved. I’ve come to realize that school safety is everyone’s responsibility – from the school board and each school’s administrators to teachers and counselors to the kids themselves – and it’s important for kids to understand how they fit into the school safety puzzle.
Below I’ve listed what I plan to talk about with my son, along with a few great resources for parents who want to better educate themselves about school safety.
Verify that your child knows:
Getting To and From School
Go with your children to the bus stop – and pick them up from the bus stop – for (at least) the first few days of school to help them learn how to safely wait for, board, and cross the street near the bus. Children should:
Just as you should help children learn how to safely navigate traveling to and from school by bus, you should also help children learn how to safely navigate traveling to and from school by bicycle or on foot. Bike and/or walk their route more than once ahead of time to teach them how to make it to school and back home safely. Children should:
Safety at School
Many school-related injuries could be prevented by following just a few, simple safety tips. Children should:
And last but not least, consider enrolling your child in a CPR or first aid course through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. If your child is not old enough to receive their CPR and/or first aid certification (contact your local chapter of either organization to find out at what age certification is available), take a class yourself and teach your children the skills you think they’re old enough to understand and use should an emergency arise.
For more back-to-school safety tips, visit the following websites:
Let’s make this school year a safe one for all of our kids!