Once the summer ends and school is back in session, you shouldn’t have to worry about your child, wondering if he or she is safe. While schools should be a safe environment for children of all ages, children are still prone to injury at school or during extracurricular activities. It’s impossible to follow your child around all the time nor can you create a magic bubble to protect them from harm. You can, however, teach your children how to be safe at school and during other activities away from home. Your child may still suffer an accidental injury, but if he or she is prepared to be safer the chances of injury are less likely.
Children of any age are prone to injury from time to time, it just seems to be a natural occurrence. Whether your Kindergartener tripped on his untied shoelaces or your teen daughter slipped on the ice while wearing slick soled shoes, you can’t always predict when an accident will occur and if an injury will be the result. When your child attends school, he or she is taught about school safety and what choices are safest. Unfortunately, like many children are known to do, some follow the rules only some of the time. Here are some ways to reinforce your child’s safety at school:
- Remind your child to follow directions and don’t break any safety rules.
- Encourage your child to think before he or she makes a choice at school. For example, ask questions that will make your child think about consequences. What would happen if you pulled on your classmate’s shirt? What might happen if you jump off of the monkey bars? How would you feel if your chair fell on the floor because you were tipping backwards?
- Explain your expectations and discuss consequences for not following safety rules at school.
On the Field
Kids who play sports are almost destined for an injury. Each year, millions of children of all ages visit the ER for various sport related injuries from dislocations to concussions. While it’s the coach’s responsibility to supply safety equipment and teach your child how to use it properly, you can be influential in your child’s safety during sports. Explain to your child why safety equipment, such as helmets and pads, are essential while playing a sport. Encourage your child to talk to you if he or she feels like the sport is too dangerous or if he or she sees that the equipment is not being used properly. Additionally, always encourage your child to warm up and to stay hydrated in order to prevent injury.
Out and About
Whether your child walks home from school with a friend or is taking the bus for an extracurricular activity, your child must know how to be safe. While goofing around on the school bus seems to be the “cool” thing to do, remind your child how to be safe while riding a school bus and explain that failing to follow directions can lead to injury.
If your child is old enough to walk home from school or walk around the neighborhood with friends, he or she may still need to be reminded about safety. Even in low traffic neighborhoods, children may be injured as a result of failing to pay attention to traffic or walking in the street.
If a child is well-informed about safety and injury prevention, he or she can have more independence without causing you stress or worry.