Time to dust off those lunchboxes and get out those backpacks because it’s time to send the kids back to school. As the summer winds down, back to school shopping will be in full force with parents buying everything from school supplies to new clothes for the school year. A lot of preparation goes into going back to school and parents must make sure their kids are fully prepared to not only take on the first day of school but the rest of the year as well. Here are some ways to make sure this school year is a fun and safe one for your kids.
- Make sure your children know their home address, phone number, a parent’s work number, an emergency contact number and how to call 911. Just in case an emergency does occur you want to make sure that you can get in touch with your children and vice versa.
- Never let young children walk to and from school alone. Either drop them off yourself, have an adult or older sibling accompany them or get a trusted babysitter to take them to school.
- If your children are walking to school, plan a safe walk route. Make sure they know the route by walking it with them a couple of times so they don’t get lost. When planning a the route, avoid vacant lots, empty and secluded parks and places where there aren’t many people. Avoid routes without main traffic and choose ones that are direct and visible from the main streets.
- Remind your children the importance of not talking to strangers. Discuss with your children what constitutes as a stranger and inform them never to talk to one during school hours (before and after). Furthermore, prepare your child with what to do if a stranger does approach them such as walking away or informing the closest adult.
- For children with allergies or any medical conditions, make sure the school is informed about them as well as their teachers. Also make sure that the child’s medication is readily available just in case of an emergency.
- Inform your child of the proper way to wear a backpack. You don’t want is hanging to low, putting immense pressure and weight onto their shoulders. Adjust the straps as needed and make sure they’re not carrying too heavy of a load for their weight.
- Have an emergency backup plan. Sometimes in life, there are unsuspected surprises that call for our immediate attention. When emergencies occur, parents don’t usually have the time or the resources to arrange for last minute plans. To prevent this from happening, arrange an emergency backup plan just in case an unsuspected surprise does occur. Have a emergency babysitter or a family member ready and inform your children of who to go with and what to do in an emergency situation.
The school year should be a fun time of year for both parents and children of all ages. Whether their starting kindergarden, going into high school or heading into their last year of college or university, the school year should be a fun and memorable one.
Stay tuned for more on back to school safety next week.