Back to school safety

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. For many students, the prospect of a new school year can be exciting. For others, it can be daunting, especially if they are starting at a new school or have struggled in the past with being bullied. As children prepare to head back to class, keep these important tips in mind.

•    Get a health check. Schedule a physical and eye exam for your child. Many school districts also require that your child has current immunizations and may need documentation.

•    Fuel the body. Studies show that a healthy breakfast improves students’ alertness which can lead to improved grades and result in a healthier self-image.

•    Set limits. Provide a properly fitted backpack, and avoid overloading it with heavy books and supplies that can result in back and shoulder injuries.

•    Wear a helmet. This is true for bicyclists any time of the year, but especially when heading to and from school when traffic is at its heaviest.

•    Practice bus safety. When waiting for the bus, stand six feet back from the curb. If your child needs to cross the street in front of the bus, make sure the bus driver can see them. Teach them to still look both ways for oncoming traffic before crossing, even if the bus driver has the flashing red lights and stop sign displayed.

•    Address bullying. One of the most anguishing discoveries is finding out your child is the victim of a bully. No child should be fearful of going to school. Contact his or her teacher or school counselor if the problem continues. In some cases, the authorities may need to be involved. Visit the National Safety Council for further bully-prevention tips.

•    Keep talking. Ask questions about how school is going. Be direct and ask if your child is encountering problems. Be supportive and discuss ways to address any problems.

Creating a sense of security is important in fostering a good learning environment. Find more safety tips for your child at www.safekids.org.

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