It’s that time again when children return to school.
We know safety is paramount on the mind of every parent as kids go back to school.
Here are some safety tips from momtastic.com to incorporate into your ‘Back to School’ regime:
1. Be sure your child knows you and your spouses’ contact information. The child should have his/her full name and address, your full name and the best number to reach you memorized, depending on the age of the child.
2. Avoid labeling your child’s clothes, school bags and uniforms with their names where it is visible. You don’t want a stranger to be able to call out your child by name, so be sure the name isn’t anywhere visible on the clothes or school bag.
3. Ask your child open ended questions. Make asking your child questions about how his/her day went a part of your afterschool routine. If anything concerns you, bring it up with the child’s teacher. Teach your child that it’s okay to talk to you and a teacher about their needs or concerns.
4. Be familiar with how your child’s school handles emergencies. Be sure to educate yourself about the policies and procedures regarding school lock downs and other emergencies. Let your child know who is listed on his emergency contact form.
5. Be a presence. Get involved in your child’s school. Join the PTA or volunteer to help out with school activities. Let your presence declare that you have a serious interest in your child’s school year success.
6. Provide ways for your child to make friends. Get your child involved with something that they find interest in, encourage play dates and foster friendships. Being involved in a peer group can help your child feel positive about their school experience.
7. If your child walks or rides the bus to school, talk specifically about safety rules and have a set check-in time for them to call you when they get home from school.
8. Role play. Engage in situational role plays that can help your child learn to navigate different situations that may come up. For example, it could be helpful to role play with your toddlers how to handle a situation like where a stranger offers them sweets or biscuits. Role play possible ways of handling the situation, like by telling them ‘no, thank you’
9. If your child is 7 years or older, you can consider providing them with a preprogrammed phone. There are several mobile phones on the market that allow a set number of contacts to be programmed into the phone. Consider giving your child a phone so that they can reach you should the need arise.
10. Pay attention. Pay attention to changes in your child’s eating habits, sleeping habits and personality. If you notice your child seems withdrawn or isn’t sleeping well, inquire as to why. A change in behavior may signal that something is wrong.
Our children will look to us for reassurance about school. If we appear worried, we won’t do our children any good. While a cautious parent is a good parent, a wise parent will take great care to monitor the message they are sending to their child.