So, the day has come. Your child is finally off to full-time school. And, although you’ve spent a lot of time fantasizing about the few hours you’ll get to do whatever you need to do, you find yourself crying because you know it won’t be long before you miss your little shadow. We can’t wrap our kids up in cotton wool, but the thought of handing over care of your child to strangers can be worrying. There aren’t many safer places than a school for your child, but it’s always wise to take some safety precautions. Here are a few tips for keeping your child safe.
Memorize Important Details
Before your child goes to school full-time, he/she should know their full address, full name, your full name and a contact number. It sounds like a lot for a youngster to remember but if you repeat the details over time, it will be easy for them to store in their memories. In the event that your child is taken ill and the school can’t access your details quickly, your child may be able to provide them with the vital information they need.
Although you make time every day to drop your child off and pick your child up, you can never know what will happen in the hours in between. If you’re faced with an emergency because a member of the family is in an accident, you may have no choice but to ask someone else to pick up your child. If you’re forced to ask someone, like a neighbor, that your child may not recognize or isn’t familiar with, consider setting up a password. Tell your neighbor to repeat the password to your child so they know the person has been sent by you. This way, if a stranger attempts to pick up your child and can’t give the password, your child knows to run back into the school and find a teacher.
Avoid Names on Labels
Although it may seem like a good idea because children can easily lose their belongings or multiple children may have the same clothing in the same size, putting a name on your child’s labels may not be entirely safe. If your child is playing in the school yard and a stranger walks past, it would be easy to call your child over by name if a label was on show. If a stranger knows a child’s name it’s easy for the child to assume it’s safe to talk.
A closed question, like, ‘Did you have a nice day at school?’ will often result in a one-word answer. However, an open question, like, ‘What did you do at school today?’ leaves room for elaboration. By asking open questions you are encouraging your child to confide in you. Talking to you about their school experiences could reveal many things, from bullying to an inappropriate teacher. Keep the lines of communication between you and your child open.
Know School Policies
If there is an emergency, your child’s school will have their own school policies on how to handle the situation. For example, during a fire, children may be evacuated to the school parking lot where children can be picked up by parents after notifying teachers. If children need to be moved away from the school’s area, they’ll likely be walked to the next safest housing big enough for all of the students, like a sports center or function hall. Knowing what will happen with your child in the event of an emergency will keep you from panicking if the worst was to happen.
Parents don’t have to just sit back and leave education to the teachers. There are often lots of ways you can get involved with your child’s school. From PTA’s to fundraisers and fun day stall managers to helping with the school play. By getting involved in some or all of these activities, you’re not only saving the school money, you’re also present for all of the big events where you can keep an eye on your child and the other children in your child’s class.
There are often times when school meals don’t provide nutrition for young children, sadly. There are also times when teachers and staff ignore instructions given from parents about avoiding certain foods. This can result in allergic reactions or food poisoning. You can find out about the law regarding food poisoning at RobinsCloud.com. To ensure your child is safe when eating at school, it’s often safer to pack lunches you’ve made yourself rather than enroll on a canteen dinner list.
There’s strength in number, as they say. It’s important to encourage your child to make strong friendships in school. Not only is it extra protection if they find themselves in a dangerous situation, but it’s also backup if any of them are ever affected by bullying. Bullies often target children who are segregated or in smaller groups. Having a large group of friends will boost your child’s confidence and ensure there are more heads than one when it comes to problem-solving.
Safety in Traffic
As your children get older, they may want to take the bus to school or ride their bikes instead of having you escort them. At this point, it’s important they know how to stay safe on the roads. When traveling on a bus, it’s tempting for children to ignore their seat belts so they have the freedom to talk with their friends. However, if an accident were to happen, a seat belt may be the only thing that could save lives. When riding a bike, children need to be wary of other traffic and pedestrians. Teach some basic safety rules before allowing your child to bike to school.
You may think that your child is too young to have a cell phone, but it could be the ideal way of contacting you in an emergency. You can buy pre-programmed cell phones that only allow your child to call a certain few numbers that you’ve already placed in the phone.
What are some of the ways you strive to keep your kids safe at school?