It’s back to school time! Everything is changing. Students are getting excited for new friends, new sports teams, new teachers and a new routine. It’s important to make sure everyone stays safe with all of these changes. The best way to keep students safe is with open communication about expectations. Have a talk with children about emergency contacts, the commute to school, and mental and physical health. Here are some suggestions about how to start your conversation!
The commute to school can present various problems, so it’s important to talk to students about the safest way to travel to and from school. First and foremost make sure they understand not to accept rides from strangers and those they do not know. Next, figure out the primary way your student will be travelling to school. If they are travelling by bus, make sure students get to the bus stop with enough time to spare. While waiting for the bus to arrive, students should stay away from the curb to ensure they can see the bus pulling up and the bus driver can see them. Make sure students who are travelling by bike know a safe path to school. Have them wear a well fitting helmet and brightly colored clothing. Students walking to school should stay alert by keeping their heads up from their phones and staying aware of their surroundings. For students and parents travelling by car, remember that it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload students.
A safety issue that you may not have thought of deals with backpacks! Wearing a backpack that is too heavy or doesn’t fit correctly can lead to back injuries. Most doctors recommend that students should only carry 10-15% of their body weight in their backpacks. Students should also use both back straps instead of one in order to distribute weight evenly.
To ensure a healthy and safe school year, it’s always important to check up on students’ mental health as well as physical health. One issue that could arise during the school day is bullying. Talk to students about respect. Tell them that they should treat others respectfully and that they should be treated with respect in return. Let students know that they should speak up if they aren’t treated with respect. Tell your child to speak up if they witness a friend or peer being bullied.
Following these tips will help ensure that your student stays safe this year.