Back to School Blog

Safety Reminders as Kids Go “Back to School”
– However They Go Back

As many normal activities have continued to require careful consideration as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, parents are now challenged with “back to school” and what that means for their children and their families.

We know there is a lot to manage during this time, and it can feel like there is very little in your control. But whether your child will be attending school at home, in-person or a combination of the two, we want to help make sure they stay injury-free.

As you prepare for this very different school year, remember it is important to make injury prevention part of your back to school plan. That is something you can control.

Safety Reminders When Kids are at Home - Virtual Learning or After-School

If your child is doing virtual learning at home or returning home earlier than normal without after-school activities, you might be balancing remote work, school, and childcare all at once. If you’re an essential worker or returning to work, it could also mean needing to find alternative childcare or “homeschool help” where your child is with another caregiver.

We’ve learned these environments can lead to increases in risks of childhood injuries at home – injuries that otherwise could have been prevented. Here are some key tips to help keep your child safe when they’re at home.

  1. Teach older kids how to cook safely. Meals may look a little different in your house right now, and older kids may be helping with meals or making their own. Remind them to stay in the kitchen the entire time they’re cooking and to use oven mitts or potholders to carry hot pots and pans. If they’re using the microwave, teach them that dishes that have been in the microwave can be hot too, and show them how to slowly open microwaved containers. The steam from hot foods can burn fingers and faces. 
  2. Store household cleaning products safely to prevent poisoning and save the Poison Help number in your phone: 1-800-222-1222. We’re all bringing more hand sanitizers, cleaning and disinfectant products into the home. Young kids are often eye-level with items on tables and under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, so remember to keep these products in their original containers, out of children’s reach and sight.
  3. Watch children around balconies and windows. As summer ends and the weather gets cooler, we may be tempted to open our windows to get some fresh air. Remember that window screens are not strong enough to hold a child’s weight. To prevent falls, install window guards or stops and move furniture away from windows. It’s still important to know how to open the window in case of emergency.

For more home safety tips, check out our Home Safety Page.

Safety Reminders When Kids are Traveling – To School or Taking a Break from Virtual Learning

While your child may have spent the whole summer outside in your neighborhood, it’s been a while since they’ve traveled to school – especially if they’re going on their own. And if they’re doing virtual learning at home, some experts recommend physical activity breaks to keep kids active without structured classes or recess.

Whether your child is walking, biking, or riding in your car, it is important to remind them of these safety tips.

  1. Wear a helmet. Remind your kids to wear a properly-fitted helmet when biking, skateboarding, riding a scooter or in-line skating. If you’re riding with your kids, remember to be a good role model and wear your helmet as well. It’s important to wear a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission certified helmet to ensure proper protection. Learn how to make sure it is fitted properly with this video.
  2. Look left, right and left again. Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. They may need to hear and practice this a few times before it becomes second nature.
  3. Buckle up on every ride, every time.  Ensure everyone in your car is buckled up on every ride using the right car seat, booster seat or seat belt for each person’s age and size.

For more car and road safety tips, visit our Car and Road Safety Page.

Like you, we want to keep your children as safe and healthy as possible when they head back to school – whether that’s at home or in-person. Keep these tips in mind to make sure safety is part of your back to school plan!

For more tips and resources to keep kids safe from injuries during the pandemic – including this Parents Guide – visit our Coronavirus Resources page.