Back-to-school safety: Follow these tips to keep your child safe and healthy
(ARA) – The back to school season can be both an exciting and anxious time. As a parent, you can teach your child a few lessons, and take a few precautions yourself, to put your mind at ease when children leave home to go back to the classroom.
From the lunch container you buy to teaching your child about playground safety, you can do a lot to prevent your child from falling ill or getting hurt.
“Parents need not worry about sending their children back to school. By doing a few little things to ensure your child’s safety, you’ll put your worries to rest and allow yourself to have a fun and stress-free start to the school year,” says Dorothy Drago, child product safety expert and author of “From Crib to Kindergarten: The Essential Child Safety Guide.”
Back To School Safety Tips
Drago offers the following tips to consider as your child goes back to school:
* Food safety: When packing a lunch for your child, make sure you keep items that need to be cold (like cheese or yogurt) at the proper temperature by storing them in an insulated container. Products that keep foods and beverages at the proper temperature for longer, like the Thermos FUNtainer series that includes both insulated beverage bottles and food jars, inhibit the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria.
* Transportation safety: Make sure to check with the school on approved walking or biking routes. Many schools are making efforts to communicate with parents about this issue to encourage active lifestyles, while also keeping kids safe. If you are buying a new bike helmet for your child before school, make sure it fits correctly and refer to the helmet wearing instructions to ensure the safest ride. If you bike with your kids, wear a helmet to set a good example. Also, remember that safely crossing the street is not always such an easy task for children. Find out if the school has crossing guards on your child’s route to school.
* Product safety: Make sure any products, from art supplies to lunch boxes, are certified under the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). “Independent testing results like the CPSIA-required compliance certificates are a smart and easy way for parents to validate that the products they purchase meet current safety regulations and standards,” says Drago. This information should be available on the product’s packaging or detailed on the company’s website. For example, Thermos, the leading manufacturer of lunch storage products, makes it easier for parents to find this CPSIA certification information for their products. By visiting www.thermos.com/cpsia/ parents can view the results of these critical compliance tests.
* Playground safety: Playgrounds are fun areas for kids of all ages but they can be dangerous. Take a look at how much protective surfacing is under equipment. There should be at least nine inches of mulch, and it should be replenished or re-spread as needed to ensure that the depth is maintained. Encourage kids to play with the existing play structures and to never add jump ropes or other toys because they may introduce a strangulation risk.
With these safety issues talked about and taken care of, nothing should stand in the way of a great start to the school year for you and your child.