As kids head back to school, one of the biggest concerns for parents is how to make sure they stay safe on and off campus. For families with children across different grade levels, balancing your elementary schoolers walking to school with middle or high school sports can be challenging. With so many activities starting up this fall, parents might be wondering how to make sure their kids stay safe.
To help all of our local families, New Braunfels ER wants to go over our top 3 Back-to-School Safety tips for parents and kids alike.
Get to School Safely
Every family has a different morning schedule, from neighborhood carpools to walking, kids get to and from school every day. This makes a safe morning routine all the more important. Parents need to talk with kids about their safety, depending on how they want to get to school.
For children who are walking, make sure they are never walking to school or back home alone. If other children in the neighborhood also walk to school, then coordinate with them and their parents to start a buddy system. This technique also works for kids who want to bike to and from school. It is safer for children to bike and walk with others, but even if they have a buddy, it is very important that parents talk to their kids about talking to unfamiliar adults and the rules about dealing with strangers who approach them.
For children who take the bus, check out your nearby bus stop. Drop your child off every morning, if you can, or see who else rides the bus in your area to ensure that your child is never out on the curb by themselves. Similarly, if your child carpools and finds themselves waiting overly long for another parent to pick them up, make sure they know who to call and how to proceed in case of a pick-up mishap.
For teenagers who might be starting to drive themselves to school, make sure they follow road safety rules. It might be fun for them to show off to their friends but teach them about the responsibilities of driving so that they understand how important it is for them to stay safe and obey school zone rules.
Stay Well Equipped
If you have children who participate in school sports or recreational activities like martial arts, dance, or gymnastics, then your child will have special safety needs. Activity is good for all kids, and studies show that team activities can help kids learn important social skills and can boost their self esteem. But with every physical activity comes a risk of injury.
To make sure your kids stay safe, check their equipment. Are their athletic shoes worn down or getting too small? Do they need new shin-guards for soccer or a new mouth-guard in football practice? Make sure that all of their equipment meets the current safety standards for their athletic activity, and make sure they get regular physicals with a doctor before and after each competition season.
Backpacks might not seem like they have a huge impact on your child’s physical safety, but they can be surprisingly impactful. Studies in recent years show that ill-fitting and over-stuffed backpacks can be detrimental to a child’s back. Aches, pains, and poor posture can impact your child’s growth and flexibility. To make sure their back is protected, make sure they have a backpack that protects them, and that it is never too heavy for them to safely lift.
Backpacks with thick padded shoulders and padding along the back are ideal. Lightweight materials are best, and additional straps across the abdomen can help to distribute weight appropriately when they’re carrying books home for homework.
To make sure that your child isn’t wrestling with an over-stuffed backpack, encourage them to utilize their desks and lockers at school, if they have that option. You can also consider rolling backpacks for your child, so that their back and shoulders don’t have to take the extra stress of heavy weighted textbooks and supplies.
As the new school year begins, families want their children to do their best, learn new things, and most importantly, stay safe. With some simple rules for getting to school, the right equipment for athletic activities, and a good backpack, your kids will have a good year ahead of them. New Braunfels ER is proud to support all of our local families and schools with our 24/7 concierge-level care. Our freestanding emergency room offers the best in local medical care for children of all ages, should your family ever be in need.
This blog is written by Maggie Berardo, staff member at Nutex Health.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit New Braunfels ER or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.