Posts belonging to Category school

School Time Health and Safety Tips

It’s that time again; it’s back to school time.  It’s time for all the prep and practical planning needed to launch the school year for your children. The American Academy of Pediatrics shares about health and safety tips at the start of the school year. 

picture of a grade school


  • Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy. Assure your child that the teachers will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
  • Point out the positive aspects of starting school.  She’ll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years. Especially when she returned home, after the first day, with high spirits because she had a good time.
  • Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your student can walk to school or ride with on the bus.
  • If it is a new school for your child, attend available orientations and tour the school before the first day.
  • If needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.


  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
  • Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs. They may be difficult to roll in snow, and they may not fit in some lockers.


Review these basic rules with your student:


  • Children should board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or the school building.
  • Remind your child to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
  • Make sure your child walks where she can see the bus driver. This means the driver will be able to see her, too.
  • Remind your student to look both ways to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street. 
  • Your child should not move around on the bus.
  • If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times.


  • All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age and size appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
  • Your child should ride in a car safety seat with a harness as long as possible. Then she needs to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat. Your child is ready for a booster seat when: She has reached the top weight or height allowed for her seat, her shoulders are above the top harness slots, or her ears have reached the top of the seat. 
  • Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly. This is usually when the child reaches about 4′ 9″ in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age. This means that the child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with her legs bent at the knees. Her feet should be hanging down and the shoulder belt lies across the middle of the chest and shoulder. The shoulder belt should not be near the neck or throat. The lap belt needs to be low and snug across the thighs, and not the stomach.
  • All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. If you must drive more children than can fit in the rear seat, move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as possible. Then have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly without it.
  • Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You should require seat belt use, and limit the number of teen passengers. Do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations,  texting or other mobile device use to prevent driver distraction. Limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Familiarize yourself with your state’s graduated driver’s license law. Consider using a parent-teen driver agreement to facilitate the early driving learning process. For a sample parent-teen driver agreement, see 


  • Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
  • Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
  • Use appropriate hand signals.
  • Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to increase visibility. White or light-colored clothing and reflective gear is especially important after dark.
  • Know the “rules of the road.”


  • Make sure your child’s walk to school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
  • Identify other children in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school.  In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
  • Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic. Consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
  • If your children are walking to a new school, walk with them until you are sure they know the 
  • Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.


  • Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home and have them posted on the school’s website. So, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
  • Look into what is offered in school vending machines. Vending machines should stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, water and 100 percent fruit juice.  Learn about your child’s school wellness policy and get involved in school groups to put it into effect.
  • Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. Choose healthier options to send in your child’s lunch.


Bullying or cyberbullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood. It can also occur over the Internet, or through mobile devices like cell phones.

When Your Child Is Bullied

  • Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
    1. Look the bully in the eye.
    2. Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
    3. Walk away.
  • Teach your child how to say in a firm voice.
    1. “I don’t like what you are doing.”
    2. “Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
    3. “Why would you say that?”
  • Teach your child when and how to ask a trusted adult for help.
  • Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
  • Support activities that interest your child.
  • Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
  • Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child’s safety and well-being when you cannot be there.
  • Monitor your child’s social media or texting interactions so you can identify problems before they get out of hand.

When Your Child Is the Bully

  • Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
  • Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.
  • Be a positive role model. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
  • Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
  • Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied.

When Your Child Is a Bystander

  • Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
  • Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
  • Help your child support other children who may be bullied.
  • Encourage your child to include children being bullied in activities.
  • Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.


  • During early and middle childhood, youngsters need supervision. A responsible adult should be available to get them ready and off to school in the morning and supervise them after school until you return home from work.
  • If a family member will care for your child, communicate the need to follow consistent rules set by the parent regarding discipline and homework.
  • Children approaching adolescence (11- and 12-year-olds) should not come home to an empty house in the afternoon unless they show unusual maturity for their age.
  • If alternate adult supervision is not available, parents should make special efforts to supervise their children from a distance. Children should have a set time when they are expected to arrive at home and should check in with a neighbor or with a parent by telephone.
  • If you choose a commercial after-school program, inquire about the training of the staff. There should be a high staff-to-child ratio, and the rooms and the playground should be safe.


  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Children need a consistent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.
  • Schedule ample time for homework.
  • Establish a household rule that the TV and other electronic distractions stay off during homework time.
  • Supervise computer and Internet use.
  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework for her.
  • Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically.
  • When your child is struggling with a particular subject, and you aren’t able to help,  atutor can be a good solution. Talk it over with your child’s teacher first.
  • Some children need help organizing their homework.  Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems.
  • If your child is having difficulty focusing on or completing homework, discuss this with your child’s teacher, or school counselor.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics


Establish Exceptionally Positive Relationships with Your Child’s School

Today’s post comes from Dr. Stanley T. Crawford, a public school administrator in the schoolDallas/Fort Worth area. 

Three Easy Ways to Establish Exceptionally Positive Relationships with Your Child’s School

Of course a list this short is by no means all inclusive; however it is an excellent starting point for the development of exceptionally positive relationships with your child’s school. The three ways of establishing these relationships are to:
1. Meet your child’s teacher.
2. Introduce yourself to the school principal.
3. Join the school Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

The first step is to meet your child’s teacher. In our high technology times, there are several ways of doing this. You can meet the teacher in person, by telephone, or through email or other electronic means. The most personable method is to meet the teacher in person. Meeting the teacher in person allows for the communication and understanding that occurs through eye contact, voice tones, inflections, volume, and general appearance of each individual; both the parent and teacher. In these busy times this is not always the most convenient method for parents or guardians to meet their child’s teacher.

Another possibility is to meet the teacher by telephone; this is another traditional method of introducing yourself to your child’s teacher. Less personable than in person, the telephone method still allows for meaning to be conveyed through voice tones, volume, and inflections. Telephone communication offers a level of flexibility that is hard to match by other means of communication.

If time or distance does not allow for in person or telephone introductions, then one should consider an electronic means, such as email or SKYPE, just to name a few. Here we will focus specifically on email as SKYPE and other methods have their own logistical challenges. If you must use email remember that the tone of email is not always clear and is usually heavily influenced by the reader’s perception. In addition, email has been noted to generate misunderstandings between parties, from time to time, especially in sensitive situations. When sending an email as an introduction, consider attaching a picture of yourself. This way the teacher has some idea who you are.

Once you select your method of introduction, decide whether you are going to convey support and help to the teacher. Let the teacher know whether you are interested in volunteering to help the school. Remember, how much you are able to discuss with the teacher often will depend on whether you have an individual meeting or are part of several parents visiting the school, such as a meet the teacher, or open house event.

We now turn to step two. Here you should introduce yourself to the school principal. Often the best way of meeting with the principal is during open house; meet the teacher night, PTA nights, basketball games, football games, and other events. In most cases these settings will not allow for in-depth discussion, but an opportunity to gain better insight into school leadership etc.

It is possible to set-up a meeting to meet most principals, but keep in mind there is often one principal and several hundred parents to several thousand parents at the secondary level and scheduling can become a bit tricky, however, if you have a special situation that the principal should know about then an in person meeting should be considered. Again, just as with the teacher, other methods of meeting the principal are by telephone and through email.

The third step you should take is to join the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), or Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). Just by joining the organization your dues will provide a level of support to your child’s school. In addition, to joining the PTA/PTO/PTSA you should plan on attending as many meetings as possible. This will keep you informed as to what activities the PTA/PTO/PTSA is planning and conducting.

This organization will focus on the students and the teachers that teach the students. The range of activities that a PTA/PTO/PTSA oversees is practically limitless. It all depends on the creativity of the PTA/PTO/PTSA and the school. The ultimate involvement with a PTA/PTO/PTSA is to become a board member of committee member. These individuals are heavily involved in the planning and execution of events and programs.

In summary, if you meet your child’s teacher, introduce yourself to the school principal, and join the PTA/PTO/PTSA you will be on your way to establishing exceptionally positive relationships with your child’s school.

About  Dr. Crawford: Dr. Crawford has a Doctorate in Educational Administration and a Masters of Arts in Management. He is a book author and has written several published articles on education. Dr. Crawford’s Facebook address is



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