Sending your kids off to school for the first time each year can be a bit of a wrench to say the least even more so if it is their first time ever attending. Even though we know it is important for kids to go to school to get a little independence and hopefully a great education, the thought of sending them off someplace where we cannot be with them and check on them regularly can be really difficult, especially when they are very young.
Many parents feel genuinely worried, even afraid, about the safety of their children when they are at school and in the care of people who they do not really know, and this is only natural to some extent, However, if you are forever worrying about your child’s safety when they are at school, you may need to take steps to get on top of that, and get your fears back in check.
Something that can really help you with this is doing whatever you can to help your kids stay safe in school. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at a few things that will help to secure your child’s safety at school right now:
Ensure your child knows their contact info
More often than not, when you send your kids off to school on the school bus each morning, they will get there safely and stay there safely until the end of the day. However, there is, for some parents, always the worry that they will wander off and get lost somehow.
Although this is unlikely to happen, teaching them their name, address and contact number can help to alleviate your fears and ensure, should they end up getting lost, they can always get some help to get back safely to you.
Teach them how to play nicely
One of the main things that can go wrong when children are at school are accidents. Ask any injury lawyers in the country and they will tell you that school-based accidents are very common, but they’re often also very avoidable. Usually, if they don’t happen in gym class, they happen in the schoolyard and they happen because children are messing around and roughhousing. So, if you teach your kids appropriate and safe ways to interact with their friends, and let them know which actions are less likely to be acceptable, you could help them to avoid injury.
Obviously, their teachers will be looking out for any games that are getting out of hand too, but if they know in advance, they may be less likely to get involved in the first place.
Ask about their day
Asking about your child’s day at school is not only a good way to bond with them after a long day of not seeing each other, but if you ask the right kind of open questions, it is also a great way to learn if anything has happened that could be cause for concern, so should the need arise, you can speak to them or the teacher and sort out any issues like bullying before they become an even bigger issue.
Read the school policies
As well as teaching your child what they should do in an emergency it’s a really good idea to familiarize yourself with the school’s emergency policies and procedures. This will ensure that, should an incident happen, you can stay calm and get to your child more quickly with as little stress as possible, Chances are the worst will never happen and you will never need to use any of the information contained in the emergency regulations, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Join the PTA
If you are really worried about your child, getting involved in their school by joining the PTA or volunteering in the classroom, for example, is a great way to reassure yourself and keep an eye on things without being overbearing or embarrassing your child. It may even give you the opportunity to raise any safety concerns you have with the school principal so you can come up with ways of changing things for the whole school that will keep everyone safer.
If your kid has just started school, you might be worried about them not making friends, or being left out of things which will obviously make them more vulnerable to various situations. Something that can really help with this is being proactive about making playdates or enrolling them in lots of extracurricular activities where they will naturally meet their peers and hopefully form a bond.
If you want to ensure that young children know what to do if the school bully demands their lunch money or they get lost on a field trip, for example, it can be really useful to simply roleplay those scenarios at home before they ever happen. This will get your child comfortable with standing up for themselves or getting the right kinds of help so that they are more likely to act in their best interests should the issue actually arise at school.
Consider a cell phone
Giving your child a basic cell phone so they can call you and get help if necessary is something you should definitely consider for your child’s safety. It can just be a simple dumb phone with your number and the number of any other emergency contacts programmed in – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. This will give you greater peace of mind and your child a simple way of getting help when they need it most but do check your child’s school policy on phones before you do this because they are not always allowed, even if turned off in class, unfortunately.
As you can see, there are lots of simple things you can do to help your kids stay safe at school, and doing them will also help to alleviate any anxieties you may have around sending your children off to school each day too.