Back to school can be an exciting time, but it can also mean new routines, less parental supervision, and therefore fewer bumps and scrapes. While small bumps are a normal part of childhood, serious personal injury shouldn’t be. Here’s how to keep your child safe when he or she heads back to school:
1) Get involved in the school. Getting involved in your child’s school is a great way to increase parental supervision in the classroom while also helping schools to stay safer. Working with schools also lets you notice any possible problems or potential injuries.
2) If you see a potential for injury, bring it to the attention of the school. If you do notice something that may cause an injury – such as a faulty gate or door, for example – bring it to the attention of the school via letter or at a meeting so that the school is accountable for making the change. Follow up to ensure that the problem has been resolved.
3) Make your child savvy about preventing accidents. Teach your child how to prevent basic personal injuries. If you need help, your school will usually have plenty of safety training materials that are child-appropriate. Local fire fighters, police and even emergency medical technicians sometimes have special child programs for schools. Talk to your child’s teacher to see whether some of these professionals can be guests in the classroom.
4) Keep track of product recalls. As you stock up on school supplies, clothes, and electronics for back to classes, keep a eye out for product liability cases and recalls. Keep your receipts so that if an item you buy turns out to be unsafe, you can return it easily.
5) If your child has a special need, bring it to the attention of the teachers and school authorities. If your child has an illness that makes them more prone to a specific accident, for example, or if your child has a life-threatening allergy, make sure that both teachers and administrators know about the situation. Ask for the facts to be included in the child’s permanent record. Have your child wear a medical alert bracelet in case a substitute teacher or new employee at the school is not made aware of your child’s circumstances.