Summer is slowly puttering to an end and a new school year is just around the corner. But preparing for back to school doesn’t just come in the form of shopping for school supplies, it also means being proactive about your children’s safety.
To make things easier for you, we compiled six essential safety tips to help you keep your children safe this back to school season. Let’s break it down...
- Pedestrians first. Go over pedestrian safety with your child. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, pedestrian-related accidents are considered the fifth-highest cause of injury-related fatalities for children between the ages of 5 and 19.
- Don’t break their back. Make sure your child owns a backpack sturdy enough to carry heavy textbooks. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 14,000 children seek treatment for backpack-related injuries every year. A general rule is that your child’s backpack should be no more than 10-20% of their body weight to avoid potential pain or injury.
- Heads up. If your child is a bike-rider, make sure they have an approved helmet to wear and that they know how to use hand signals.
- Put a label on it. If your child has any food allergies, print out a food allergy action plan (like this one from The Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network) for them to bring to school. This will help the school’s teachers, nurses, and administrators decipher food labels accordingly so they can make safe food decisions for your child.
- Wake up call. Start transitioning into a school sleep routine by establishing bedtimes for the school year. Your child should start following these at least one week before school starts. According to the U.S Department of Education, children should be getting 8 1/2 - 9 1/2 hours of sleep each night.
- Stranger Danger. Have a Family Safety Code Word that only family members and close friends know and remind your children to steer clear of strangers unless that person knows the code word. If your children walk to or from school, remind them to avoid taking shortcuts and accepting rides without your permission. Safety is better in numbers, so make sure to set up a buddy system for your children as well.
Bonus: Make sure your family vehicle does not have any critical safety recalls like the Takata airbag recall with The Carma Recall Lookup Tool.