Students from Pre-School through college are going back to school. While parents rejoice the end of the “how to keep my kids busy” questions for one more summer, minds are filled with keeping kids safe. Here are a few reminders of simple ways to keep your kids safe this school year.
1. If walking to the bus stop or to school, don’t go alone. To keep kids the safest, parents are advised to create a “walkpool”. Like a typical carpool, parents take turns walking the kids from their neighborhood to and from the bus stop or school. The adult and oldest children should walk closest to the street as they are more prone to be seen by passing drivers.
2. Cross at the crosswalks only. Teen students are apt to cross when they believe traffic is at a minimum rather than obey pedestrian laws and use the crosswalks. Social media users have already reported students crossing roads in an unsafe manner while in the vicinity of local high schools.
3. Take proper care of muscles and gear during sports. Even though it’s a lot cheaper to use last year’s gear, worn or damaged gear especially footwear can cause injury. Physical warm ups are key to keeping you safe but use wisdom. Pushing the limits from cardio to stretching can cause injury. Doctors across the country, including the Hospital for Special Surgery, report that sports injuries for children is on the rise. Proper stretching and strength training for the child’s age and sport is encouraged to help prevent injury.
4. Proper nutrition is key. It isn’t just school lunches that matter for student safety. A proper breakfast can help to ready a child’s mind for the day by keeping them alert. Nemours Kid’s Health website suggests that a proper breakfast will boost your child’s metabolism, reduce irritability, and wake their minds & bodies up properly for school. They suggest high protein breakfasts that are rich in whole grain and fiber yet low in sugar can actually boost your child’s attention span, concentration, and memory.
5. Proper sleep is a must. According to WebMD, a preschool to first grade child needs 10-12 hours of sleep each 24 hour period, including nap times. This amount slowly drops but a teenager still needs 8-9 hours a night in order to perform their best in school. While it may seen difficult to keep proper rest each night, it is vital. Recent tests, according to the National Sleep Foundation, have proven that it isn’t possible to truly “catch up on sleep” by letting your teen sleep in on Saturdays.
6. Keep homework focused and short. In a world where it seems like kids are getting more and more homework, it is important for parents to help their kids accomplish work quickly so their minds can have some “downtime” before the next school day. Recommendations for this are a regular location without distractions such as the dining room table. Doing homework without parental supervision may lead to distraction that prolongs the evening’s work. Keeping the TV off and soft music playing may help to drown out other noises. If your child struggles with attention problems, doing “grown up homework” such as paying bills, answering emails, confirming a grocery list or the next day’s schedule, etc. at the table next to them may bring an encouragement to complete their work before the adult.
Taking the time to plan for your week, whether it is your meal planning, your homework time, or even getting your little ones to bed on time, can help your child to succeed. Meals don’t have to take hours in order to be healthy. Homework doesn’t need to take hours in order to be complete. By taking a few minutes to plan and finding a schedule that works, your student can have an amazing year. Talking to your kids about their physical health and safety can go far with helping them to have a bright and healthy future. Have fun with your kids this year!