Don't ignore school safety
A few months from now, classes will start and millions of children will troop to school. By then, everything should be ready - books, bags, uniforms, and other school necessities.
However, there is one important thing parents might not be ready for: school safety. Sadly, this is often ignored or overlooked.
While most parents know beforehand where they want their child to go as soon as school opens, few take the necessary steps to ensure that learning is a trouble-free experience. This can lead to tragic consequences for accidents are a major cause of death and disability among schoolchildren.
Aside from books and bags, what other things should you prepare for? To ensure your child's safety at school, here are some points to consider.
Most big schools usually rank high in terms of academics, but some may have poor scores when it comes to safety aspects. To check this out, drop by unannounced at the school of your choice and visit the playroom, bathroom, kitchen, and playground. The editors of Consumers Digest said you should take note of the following:
Look out for working smoke alarms, a posted emergency exit plan, and doors that are easily accessible for escape from a fire.
A fence should surround any wading or swimming pool and children should be carefully supervised at all times.
Classroom and play areas should have toys that are appropriate for the children using them; toys for children under three shouldn't have any small parts that could fit in the child's mouth.
The playground should be fenced and there should be a soft surface under any playground equipment to cushion falls (The National Safe Kids Campaign suggests eight to 10 inches of shredded mulch).
Wooden swing seats are a no-no since these could knock out a child's teeth.
Hot water in the taps should not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
The kitchen should be clean and food workers should have received health checks.
Immunization records should be required for all children, and school policy should exclude attendance by children who are ill.
Parents should be required to sign an urgent care release form, and at least one staff person should know CPR.
'It is also important to find the safest possible facilities for your child to use for supervised recreation. Backyards, playgrounds, and community centres are examples. Otherwise, they may choose to play in hazardous or poorly supervised places where the risk of injury is greater and the availability of help is less if an accident occurs,' said Dr. David E. Larson, editor-in-chief of the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book.
Next to the school grounds, the school bus or family car can be the most dangerous place for kids if you're not careful. Many school children die from car accidents yearly. How can you protect your child? Find out in the second part of this series.
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About the author:
Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine http://www.HealthLinesNews.com.