It is hard to believe it is August and the kids will be going back to school in a few short weeks. School shopping and organizing closest, shoes, and school supplies are the main focus for parents at this time of year, but here are a few tips for other things parents should consider as the new school year begins.
Check to make sure your school has a safety plan and maintenance schedule for all playground equipment and fire equipment and that maintenance is up to date.
Check to see how many staff at your child's school have been trained in CPR.
Ask about the playground and the ground beneath the equipment. Is is cushioned, has it been updated and maintained. This won't prevent falls, but it can reduce the risk of severe injury.
Ask about the school policy on sports programs at your child's grade level. Guidelines which group children according to skill level, weight, and physical maturity provide a safer playing environment.
Make sure that proper physical and mental conditioning and use of safety equipment are included in all programs and are age appropriate.
Adults should be present at all times to ensure a safe playing environment and the enforcement of safety rules on playgrounds and during gym classes.
Teach children safe bus rules and street crossing rules to ensure kids watch before they cross and wait for the bus to stop before trying to get on. Kids need a reminder after a long summer vacation.
Teach children to stay seated on the bus regardless of what their peers do and to keep hands and feet inside.
Teach children to be aware of their surroundings. The old school rules of " don't talk to strangers" and " never take a ride from a stranger’ are just as important today.
Have your child get a health physical from your family doctor on a yearly basis, even if your child doesn't participate in sports. This will make you more comfortable when your child is asked to push themselves in gym or other school activity.
Be an active participant in your school. Know who your child plays with and who they have contact with on a daily basis. Meet your child's teachers and keep in contact throughout the school year. Ask questions. You are the parent and the safety of your child is important. Make sure you are comfortable with the environment where your child learns. Your child will get more from his or her education if he or she feel safe. Here is to a great new school year for everyone.
For more information on children coping with illness or death and dying issues, or health and safety tips for children visit http://heartfeltwords4kids.blogspot.com
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Terri Forehand is a pediatric critical care nurse and freelance writer. She has a passion for kids of all ages, especially kids who are fighting against tough illnesses and diseases. Visit her blog and website for more information. She is currently working on fiction for kids.