Back to School Safety

Back-to-school season can be both exciting and stressful; families in Ohio are typically busy shopping for backpacks and school supplies while trying to squeeze in a few more pool days before the leaves fall.

It's important to also spend some time teaching kids how to stay safe as the school year starts.

Equipping your child with some simple skills and knowledge might make the difference for their physical or emotional wellbeing this school year. Here are some tips to make sure your kids stay safe, so they can focus on fun and learning at school:

Practice travel routes: If your children are planning to walk to school, test the route with them more than once before school starts. Familiarizing your children with their route can help them to feel more secure as well as prepare them for potential hazards, such as dangerous intersections or poorly maintained sidewalks.

Learn the rules of the road: Make sure kids know the rules of the road for pedestrians, especially if their school is in a busy area. Remind them that drivers can get distracted, so it's up to them to pay attention and stay visible when crossing the road. Teach your kids to always cross in front of cars and buses (not behind), and to avoid texting while walking.

Become a better biker: Show your kids how to use hand signals to communicate with drivers, use designated bike lanes, and make it clear that wearing a helmet is non-negotiable. If you're a parent, do your part and make sure your child's bicycle is properly fitted and maintained.

Learn emergency procedures: Both younger and older children should know the fastest way to exit their school, what steps to take in case of a medical emergency, and basic fire and earthquake procedures. Talk these scenarios over with your kids and consider practicing them, too.

Educate your educators: Does your child's teacher know about his potentially serious allergy or medical condition? Most importantly, do they know what to do if it comes up? Don't rely on school paperwork to relay this potentially life-saving information; talk to your child's teacher so that he or she understands how to recognize and respond to your child's unique medical needs. With older kids, be sure they know how to take care of and advocate for themselves, and that they are talking with their teachers if necessary.

Teach kids how to deal with bullies: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost 30 percent of young people report being bullied at school. The research shows that kids who are bullied are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, as well as have poorer academic performance. Talk to kids about how to recognize different types of bullying, and what to do if they or their friends are bullied at school or online.

For any back-to-school insurance questions, call or contact Mathews Insurance, Inc. today.

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