During school hours, children have lots of supervision and structured time. During lunch hours, however, many children have more leeway. Staff may be busy eating their own lunches and some students stay away from supervision during the lunch hour. Here’s how to make sure your child avoids injuries during break:
1) Learn about lunchtime supervision at your child’s school. Ensure that cafeterias, class rooms, and other areas where children eat are monitored. If children are allowed outside during lunch, make sure school property is well monitored and supervised during the lunch hour. Many injuries can take place if children are running around a playground with no supervision.
2) Alert the school if your child has serious allergies. If your child has a life-threatening allergy, alert the school principal, teachers, and cafeteria staff. Ensure that your child has an ID bracelet all times alerting staff of the allergy. If your child is young, talk to your child’s class or have an adult talk to your child’s class about the allergy. This will help prevent classmates inadvertently offering your child a treat with an allergen in it.
3) Set rules if your child is allowed off campus during lunch time. If your child can leave campus, make sure that your child knows places he or she is permitted – and is not permitted – to go. Set boundaries about where your child can go for lunch.
4) If your child goes home for lunch, make sure he or she can get home and back safely. Pedestrian accidents can be a cause for concern if your child walks home from school. Go over your child’s route and ensure that he or she walks straight home and right to school. Younger children may need supervision to get home and back safely.
5) Ensure that school grounds are safe. If your child is allowed to play in the playground at lunch, inspect the playground area. Is all playground equipment safe and modern? Ensure that no equipment has been recalled or cited in product liability cases. Are the grounds properly maintained and safe? Stacks of leaves or uneven pavement can pose a slip and fall hazard.