Some parents may act a little paranoid when it comes to their children. Understandably so, of course – they’re a precious commodity to the vast majority of moms and dads, and keeping a child safe should always be a priority. Escorting them everywhere, though… limiting the people they can know, or the things they can learn… being extreme, in short, might not be the best way to help a child grow into a well-rounded adult.
Does that mean a parent shouldn’t take precautions? Of course not. Again, safety is paramount. Your little man or ma’am deserves a safe, happy childhood, and that extends to time away from parents, in the classroom. This article will cover a few ways in which parents can prep their tykes for going back to school each year.
Teach Your Child to Navigate Traffic
Every kid needs to learn that cars are dangerous, and that there are ways to safely cross from one side of the street to the other. Well before school starts, emphasize the following through practice walks:
– Always look both ways before crossing a street
– Always cross at a stop sign, street light, or designated crosswalk
– Always wait until approaching vehicles have stopped completely before crossing
– When possible, cross with other people to improve visibility
Most public school zones will have at least one crossing guard posted at major intersections. Encourage your child to get to know the crossing guard, as it will increase the chances of the child going straight for the cross walk each day. Further encourage your child to obey the crossing guard’s instructions, only crossing a street when called by the crossing guard.
It’s fairly common for children to ride their bikes to school. Doing so presents other potential dangers which you can curb with the following guidelines, in addition to the previous rules for crossing a street:
– Always wear a helmet when riding a bike
– Always get off the bike and walk it across a road
– Always slow down when approaching houses and driveways, and look inside parked cars to see if there’s a driver in the seat who might pull out of their driveway without warning
This sounds like a lot to teach a child, but every rule is important – and they’re fairly easy to remember, with some practice.
Travel With a Friend
A child walking on their own is potentially vulnerable. A child with a friend? Immeasurably less so, and the risk goes down with each new child added to the pack. If your child has a friend with whom they can walk or otherwise travel to school, encourage them to do so.
Never Talk to Strangers
This is an old adage, and one that remains just as true now as it did decades ago. The majority of people on the street are kind, courteous, and utterly harmless. That doesn’t apply to everyone, sadly, and so it’s best for students on their way to primary school to avoid conversations with strangers. Stress to your child that they should never accept anything from a stranger, whether it be a candy or a car ride, without parental permission.
Don’t Horse Around On The School Bus
Not every student lives within walking distance of a primary school, and those who don’t will have to take the bus. A school bus is a whole new world of potential harm: buses don’t have restraints, they can be more unwieldy than cars on corners, and they’re full of other children who may be misbehaving. Take your child on several public transit bus trips to give them a feel for transit, and teach them to remain properly seated at all times. No running up and down the aisles, no leaning over the backs of chairs, no crawling under the seats.
Encourage Safety on the Playground
Teachers do their best to monitor students during recess or lunch, but it’s much harder to police kids at play than it is in a classroom. Take your child to the school’s playground and show them how to safely use the play equipment. Here are some basic rules to get you started:
– Be aware of other children – watch out for kids on swings, for example, when crossing the playground
– Only use equipment as it’s meant to be used – don’t climb up a slide, don’t jump off the swings, don’t climb upside down on the monkey bars, etc.
– Don’t play on the equipment when it’s slippery or wet
– Report any unsafe equipment to a teacher immediately
This article covers a wide range of safety tips regarding specific pieces of equipment, as well as ways to teacher your child how to properly use each.
Listen to Your Teacher
This final tip is vital for encouraging safety inside the classroom, which is very difficult for an adult to adjudicate. Teachers are trained to deal with unruly children. They understand the space in which they teach, as well as the potential perils, and you need to teach your child to understand that respecting the word of the teacher is of paramount importance. Without the cooperation of the kids, a teacher can’t keep everyone safe, even under the best conditions, and that’s something no parent should want.