Whether you’re counting down the days until school starts or you wish you could hold on to the last dog days of summer, a new school year is just around the corner.
Start Developing a Routine Before School Starts
It’s easy to toss out the school year routine as soon as summer arrives, but it’s always a good idea to start up the school year routine before a new school begins. Not only will it make it easier to get up and going on the first day of school, but the first week back will probably be less stressful if your kids are already used to a new routine.
Now that daylight hours are starting to shorten, it should be a little easier to implement an earlier bedtime. Make sure that your kids are getting enough sleep every night and avoid using screens, such as phones, computers, or television, right before bed. Whether your child is starting preschool or middle school, blue screens before bedtime can interrupt quality sleep.
Pack the Backpack Correctly
Did you know that your child’s backpack could be causing back problems at an early age? While you don’t have much control over how much stuff your child carries in their backpack, you can make sure they have the best-fitting backpack as possible.
The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends that a backpack should weigh no more than 5 to 10 percent of your child’s body weight. A full backpack is also more ergonomic when worn on both shoulders. Thinking about a rolling backpack? While it might be more back friendly, it’s a hallway hazard.
Talk to Your Child About School Bus Safety
Even if your child doesn’t take the bus to school, it’s crucial that your child knows how to ride a school bus safely since they will probably ride one for field trips. Educators typically teach some primary safety tips, it never hurts to hear from you.
Remind your child to stay at least six feet away from a school bus when waiting for a bus to arrive or leave and to always walk carefully on, off, and around a bus. Teach your child how to cross the street in front of a bus and to always look for cars. If your child encounters any issues while riding the bus, remind them to tell the bus driver or another trusted adult.
Staying Safe on the Playground and During Sports
Recess and after-school sports are some of the best times of the school day. Not only is your child getting the opportunity for some much needed exercise, but also to socialize with peers. Fractures, concussions, and other personal injuries are common when there is too much roughhousing, lack of adult supervision, and when proper safety gear is not available.
While you can’t always be there to make sure that your child is safe, you can talk with coaches about sports safety and inspect playground equipment to ensure it’s in good working order.
Whether your child is transported to and from school by a babysitter, an older sibling, or a classmate’s parent, it’s essential to remind your child to always wear a seat belt or sit in an age-appropriate child seat. It’s never too early to talk to your child about appropriate driving behaviors.
Talk to your child about distracted driving and other potentially dangerous behaviors that some drivers do while behind the wheel. Encourage your child to talk to you if they are riding with someone who drives distracted or engages in other reckless behaviors.
Even if you can’t be with your child as much as you would like during the school year, you can arm them with valuable information to help keep them safer and have a successful and happy school year.
Donna Fitzgerald is a mother of two who enjoys journaling in her free time. You can find her curled up behind her favorite book during the weekend hours. She also enjoys traveling and visiting exotic destinations across the world. You can follow along with her at her blog Good Home Health.