Whether your kids are homeschooled or going to pre-school, elementary, middle, high school or college, there are many things to help them prepare for the exciting new school year. It is also a time when some parents have to cope with going back to school anxiety and safety issues.
From school violence to finding after school programs to head lice to common cold and flu to overscheduling- the list of concerns for parents and kids can be overwhelming. So to help you look through some of the concerns, here are our 7 back to school safety tips:
The cute backpacks with kids’ favorite TV characters are usually hard to resist. To some kids, a backpack is a self-expression, a way to make a statement and to show off their favorite character or shows.
Did you know that backpack might be the cause of back pain, muscle aches and headaches?
Two: School bullying
Bullying Statistics stated that about 30% of students in the United States are involved in bullying on a regular basis, either as a victim, bully or both. This bullying includes physical, verbal and cyber, which may also happen outside of the school property.
It is disturbing to read that 77% of all students being bullied verbally include mental bullying, verbal abuse, spreading rumors, yelling obscenities or other derogatory terms. These may eventually lead to poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety about going to school and even suicidal thoughts. (Source: Bullying Statitics)
How would you know if your child is a victim or is bullying others at school?
Here is what one parent said about making sure her kids were safe in middle and high school:
1. Get involved in the school activities at least twice a month. These activities could be school picture day, helping out in the library or getting involved in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
2. Spend time talking to kids about their friends and school every day. This was not easy but possible.
3. Pray for discernment and pray for her kids in school. She was involved in a Moms in Prayer local group that met each week to pray for their middle and high schoolers.
Encouraging book about bullying:
Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying (and Other Stuff That Keeps You Down) by Nick Vijucic. The author, Nick was born without arms and legs. He was once the bullies’ target. This book will give kids strategies for developing a “bully defense system” and more.
Every year over 200,000 children are treated in emergency rooms due to playground injuries.
Swings, seesaw, monkey bars, exercise rings, swinging ropes and trampolines are made for kids of different age groups. Some younger kids like to test their limits and wander off to the ‘big kid’ swings and exercise rings.
Find out if your kids’ school has different play areas for different age groups. Playgrounds in schools with asphalt, soil or asphalt are unsafe for kids.
Here is a playground safety checklist:
Public Playground Safety Checklist from US Consumer Product Safety Commission
To heal and soothe minor bumps and bruises, read:
How to Heal and Soothe Bumps and Bruises with Natural Remedies
Four: Traveling to school
Parents may have sleepless nights thinking about their teens driving, taking the school bus or public transportation, walking or cycling to school.
Unfortunately the reality is car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. More than half of teens killed in car crashes did not wear a seat belt. And a study by The Allstate Foundation showed 80% of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over teens’ driving habits.
If your kids are taking the school bus, here are some tips.
Make sure your kid is wearing a helmet and knows the route and traffic rules if they are cycling to school.
Five: Caretaker and after school program
The reality is when mom and dad work full time outside of home, they have to find a caretaker or an after school programs to accommodate the kids after school. It could be from 3 pm to 8 pm for some families.
How do you know who is the right caretaker or which is the best after school program for your kids?
For a comprehensive checklist on what to look for when hiring a caretaker for your kids, please read Dr. Phil’s article on Protecting Your Child- Even from Caretakers.
The article shows ways to conduct a background check, how to look for red flags, tips to interview and a way to monitor your caretaker without installing nanny cams. I thank God for my kids’ caretaker. She is an amazing woman of God and she loves my kids.
Note: If you are a mom wanting a way to transition from a workplace to working at home to be with your kids, please read this article:
Six: Schedule and staying sane
Being under scheduled or overscheduled are both threatening problems for kids and families. How do you manage your time and stay sane?
For this section on scheduling and staying sane please read the following articles.
I couldn’t agree more with the phrase “you are what you eat!” A recent article on FoxNews reported that too much sugar can cause cold, cough allergies, croup, acid reflux and weakened immunity in kids.
What’s in your kid’s lunchbox or school cafeteria tray each day?
Have you seen the beautifully packed, all-done-for-you lunches for kids called Lunchables of mini hot dogs, a sugared drink and a chocolate bar filled with sugar? Or the kiddie yogurts, fruit juice boxes with puzzles, riddles and your kid’s favorite TV characters or the 100% fruit-infused fruit candy?
You can read The Atlantic on The Candification of Our Food: The Case of the Fruit-less Fruit Snack.
For teens these days there are the Lunchables teen version called Uploaded. According to Ad Age, Uploaded is higher in calories, sodium and saturated fat.
Here are some articles related to healthy lunches and snacks you can improvise:
Healthy Smoothies and Snacks Kids and Parents Love Without the Extra Sugars
7 Day Sugar Fast Menu Plan by Kayla Howard
Recipes from Stephanie of Abundant Living
Back to school marks a new milestone. It is a season of changes…
Jim Rohn said “Your life does not get better by chance, it get better by change.”
If you are a mom looking for ways to transition from workplace to home based, I would like to speak to you. Check out my Upcoming Events Page for a class or a free consultation on location.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.