As fall approaches, students and their parents begin preparing for the new school year. Whether children feel excitement, dread, or nonchalance about going back to school, the season certainly presents a change of pace from the more relaxed days of summer.
Along with returning to school come a new set of safety risks for children of all ages. As families work to create new routines, keeping the health and well-being of children in mind helps mitigate the hazards posed by traffic, public spaces, other students, and other components of the educational experience.
Six ways parents can help their children stay healthy and secure during the next school year include:
1. Bus safety. Students riding the bus should be aware of the proper entrance and exit methods, especially when crossing the street. Those waiting for the bus should always remain at least 6 feet from the curb.
2. Walking or bicycling to school. Increased traffic means children on foot or bike must pay close attention to their surroundings. Remind students of the rules of the road, and practice the walk with those taking an unfamiliar route to a new school.
3. Teen driving. Licensed drivers are often eager to begin driving to school; however, parents should exercise judgment in providing this privilege. Invest in additional training before classes start if a teen showcases irresponsible driving behaviors.
4. Ergonomic backpacks. Heavy or poorly-designed backpacks often lead to back problems in children. Inspect children’s bags before they leave for school, and ensure they use both straps.
5. Playground safety. Instruct children in safe playground practices. Talk to school administrators about hazardous or outdated playground structures.
6. Bullying prevention. Parents who discuss bullying with their children and address potential concerns with educators help eradicate this harmful practice.
As children return to school, they deserve to learn in a safe and conducive environment. Should the negligence or abuse of another individual compromise your child’s health or wellbeing, a DC child safety attorney can help you take legal recourse.
What steps will you take to keep students safe as they return to school?
For further reading:
For kids who bike: tips for safer biking
For kids still on vacation