Back to School
Well it’s back to school time. Whether you have a new student going for the first time to school or you have a senior in high school, this can be an eventful time for any parent. Below are just a few tips that may make this less stressful.
Making the First Day
If your child seems nervous, remind him or her that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about their first day back to school. Teachers are aware of this and in most cases make extra effort to make sure everyone feels comfortable.
It is a good idea to point out the positive aspects of starting school. This will help to create a positive anticipation about the first day. Your child will see old and new friends, try refreshing their memory of positive events from previous years.
Find a friend of your child that lives close by that may walk or ride the bus to school with your child.
If this first day back to school is a new school that your child may be attending for the first time, be sure you have attended orientations and have toured the campus ahead of time.
Make sure the backpack you have chosen is easy and comfortable for your child. One with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back are usually helpful.
Make sure that the backpack is lightly packed and well organized. Attempt to use all the compartments and pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should not weight more than 20% of your child’s body weight.
Your child should use both shoulder straps, slinging a backpack over one shoulder can put a strain on his or her muscles.
Rolling back packs are great if the school allows.
The right backpack packed properly will help your student feel organized on their first day back to school.
Traveling to & From School
Your child should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.
Follow these safety tips
Remind your child to wait until the bus stops completely before approaching.
Make sure he or she walks where they can see the bus driver which means the bus driver can see them.
Remind them to look both ways before crossing any street.
Remind them to sit still once they are in their sit on the bus.
If the school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses it.
Check the school’s policy about food or drinks being consumed on the bus.
If your child has any condition that could result in an emergency on the bus, make sure the school nurse and other school health personnel are aware and have a plan if needed.
All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age and size appropriate car seat or booster seat.
All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles.
Remember that many crashes occur while novice teenage drivers are going to and from school. You should require seat belts, limit the number of teen passengers, do not allow drinking, eating, cell phone conversations, texting, or any other mobile device that could distract the driver.
Your child should always wear a bicycle helmet.
They need to ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic is going.
They need to respect traffic lights and stop signs.
They should wear bright-colored clothing.
Walk to school
Please make sure your child takes a safe route to school that has well-trained adult crossing guard at every intersection.
Identify other children in the neighbor that your child could walk with to school.
Be sure that your child’s pedestrian skills and knowledge are good. Small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic. You may want consider walking with them or consider having adult supervision.
If your child is young or attending a new school, either walk with them or have an adult walk with them for a week or until you are sure they know the route and can safely walk it.
There are many more areas that you should address. For instance, eating during school, before and after school care, study habits, and your child’s interaction with other children. Hopefully the above tips can help especially with that first sometimes difficult school day.
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