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Back-to-School Safety Tips from University Health System

Alamo City Moms Blog has partnered with University Health System to bring important information to our readers. This is a sponsored post provided by Jennifer Northway, the Director of Injury Prevention at UHS.

Back-to-School Safety Tips

WHEW! YOU DID IT! You made it through the first day of school. Outfits chosen. Pictures taken. Tears shed. You made it through to the other side, and it’s all downhill from here. Time to shuffle back into routines, homework, and bedtimes. The fall is a busy, busy time and, in the blink of an eye, the holidays will be here. But before you start picking out matching Halloween costumes for the besties, here are few tips to get back to school safely:

How do your kids get to school? No matter how your child gets to school, make sure he/she does so safely. If your child walks to school, teach him/her to cross at the crosswalk and look left, right, left before crossing the street. Older children should be taught to put down their phones or take off their headphones when crossing the street. Remind children and teens to watch the road while crossing the street to look out for inattentive motorists. If you carpool, make sure that excited kids stay buckled up until the car comes to a complete stop at drop off. Remind teens to buckle up—every trip, every time.

What do your kids do after school? Participating in sports is great for kids—physically, emotionally, and socially. No one wants to end up on the sidelines, but it is important to make sure that kids stay healthy so they can stay in the game. It is important for kids to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke can happen when kids don’t drink enough water while playing sports. Children generate more heat than adults, but also sweat less, which makes them more susceptible to dehydration. Make sure children drink enough water BEFORE the big game. Consider substituting water for sodas the day before games and make sure to pack a water bottle for use at practices and games.

What do you kids eat after school? We all know that kids want a snack when they get home, but make sure your snacks are not a burn hazard. Teach kids to be careful with the microwave. Microwaves can heat food unevenly and create hot spots, so avoid allowing children under 10 to use them to heat food unsupervised. Children can be severely and easily burned by spilled microwaveable foods such as soups, ramen, or macaroni ‘n’ cheese. Consider stocking the pantry with foods that do not require heating for children to have after school: fruits, vegetables, crackers, chips, etc.

As you and the kids get back into the rhythm of your routines, keep these simple tips in mind for a fun, yet safe school year. Time spent together should be at sporting events, school plays, art shows, and music performances—not the emergency room. May this year be your best one yet!

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