7 Back to School Safety Tips for Parents
Summer may feel like it’s in full swing with wave after wave of heat, but before you know it, the time will come for your little ones to return to school. At Insurance Center of North Jersey, we understand that being prepared is the best way to avoid many of life’s tragedies. We hope you’ll find these back to school safety tips for parents to be helpful as you prepare to send your children off to school.
1) Designate a Meeting Place
If something were to happen and your child is separated from you during an emergency, designate a meeting place. You should choose one in your neighborhood and one with relative proximity to the school. It should be a landmark or person your child is familiar with and one that will work in any weather condition.
2) Select a Secret Word
Choose a safe word or phrase that someone should use when picking your child up from school. Drill your child about the safe word and make sure your child understands that even if it is someone they know, they should not go without hearing the safe word from them. In addition, let your child know the people you will likely call on to pick them up if you are unable to do so yourself so they are not concerned if a designated person arrives to pick them up.
3) Keep Emergency Contact Information Updated
Most schools require parents to fill out an emergency contact card at the beginning of the school year. Make sure that all phone numbers and email addresses on the card are accurate and updated – especially if you have moved or changed phone numbers since the last time you filled out one of these cards.
4) Discuss Playground Safety with Your Children
Young children understand rules and regulations very well. What they don’t always understand is why they’re important. Discuss with your child the importance of taking turns, going the proper way down a slide, and avoiding unnecessary accidents at the bus stop and on the playground at school. Make sure to revisit this discussion seasonally as safety concerns may change.
5) Bus Stop Protocol
Every parent isn’t fortunate enough to be able to wait around with their children at the bust stop. Discuss with your child the need to remain a respectful distance from the bus when it is stopping (at least three giant steps away) so that slips that might cause them to fall under the wheels of the bus or become injured in other ways aren’t as likely to occur. Children should also wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before attempting to get on or off the bus.
6) Parent Pick Up Rules
The first rule you must stress to your children about parent pick up is that they should never expect the drivers of the cars to notice them. In fact, they should be extra vigilant when crossing roads or meeting cars as many parents are distracted by their own children and stories of their days.
7) Backpack Safety
Many children find themselves in need of medical attention each year from wearing backpacks improperly or from wearing overloaded backpacks. Make sure the backpack you choose properly fits your child and make sure that, when weighted down, the backpack weighs no more than 10 to 20 percent of his or her body weight. Encourage children to use both straps in order to evenly distribute the weight of the pack between their shoulders.
Insurance Center of North Jersey understands that emergencies happen. Our business is often about dealing with the aftermath of various emergencies. We hope by encouraging these safety habits in children, many potential emergencies can be avoided this school year.