It’s that time of year again: Time for pens and pencils, notebooks and notepads, stencil boxes and three ring binders. It’s back to school season, and for many parents it’s a time to prepare for the unexpected as only parents can do. We’ve rounded up a list of best-practices and school safety tips from a few reputable sources, as your toddlers, tykes and tweens embark on a new school year filled with new adventures, new learning and, most importantly, a better appreciation for secure and safe environments.
The National Safety Council—a national non-profit whose mission is to “save lives” by promoting safety in an around the home, school, and the workplace—offers a comprehensive checklist of best-practices and safety tips in anticipation of those initial first days of school. The standard applies (e.g. teaching your child to look both ways before crossing the street, fitting them with a helmet before they ride a bicycle), but there’s more to this checklist than meets the eye. A recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission estimated that 7,300 backpack-related injuries occur every year, and for those kids taking the bus to school, it’s important to stress the unpredictability of large vehicles on the road. In a nutshell: there’s lots to love about this list.
What’s up, doc?
For most students, back to school is an exciting time of year. But for others the transition to a new grade, even a different classroom, can have adverse effects on students who might not adjust as easily as others. Preparing your child mentally for the eventual return to school can be extraordinarily beneficial safety measure. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends scheduling doctor and dental appointments in advance or in the early stages of school, which can make you aware of potential red flags before that momentous first day of class.
A healthy and productive mental state can make all the difference for young students. And believe it or not, your child’s mental health has the potential to rub off on others. Scholastic offers a smorgasbord of tips and tricks to make your child’s school year the best it can possibly be, one of which includes designing his or her very own work station, complete with a tailored aesthetic and good vibes. By catering the design to your child’s study habits, you can influence what happens in and outside your home by (slightly) spoiling your future Ivy Leaguer.
This time of year can be particularly troublesome for kids with asthma. Given the unpredictability of the seasons thus far, it behooves any parent to ensure that kids are well-prepared for the ill-effects of the summer-to-fall transition. The Public News Service recently interviewed Kathleen Shanovich, a former school nurse and pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who suggests parents meet with a school’s resident nurse to discuss a detailed action-plan, should a problem arise. Shanovich also advises parents to leave an extra inhaler with the school nurse should any unforeseen issues occur.
I’ll be back.
The Washington Post recently provided parents with back-to-school tips and tricks for the upcoming school year. A surprising, if not overlooked aspect of the back-to-school process is establishing the concept of “leaving and returning.” This seemingly miniscule detail might sneak by most parents, especially if they’re in a hurry, but it’s a detail worth remembering. Reinforcing the idea at drop-off that you’re leaving but will return later to can save your kiddos any unwanted heartache.