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Keep your kids safe during the school year

As students and parents prepare for the start of the school year, it’s a good idea to review health and safety issues. Before you zip up the backpack and wave goodbye to your children on the first day, here are some tips to ensure your children are healthy and ready to learn and stay safe.

Schedule your child’s annual check-up with one of Riverwood’s primary care physicians to check specific health issues and overall wellness. This is also an opportunity to discuss any concerns you as a parent/guardian may have for your child’s health and well-being.

“Annual visits are a great chance to talk about any health changes your child may be experiencing such as allergies, sleeping or eating habits, or psychological issues,” said Physician Assistant Emily Goranson at Riverwood’s McGregor clinic. “A healthy child is a better learner, and we want all children to get a great start for a successful school year.”

Review safety procedures and rules with your children.

  • Does your child know emergency phone numbers to reach a parent or guardian in the event of sudden illness or an accident? Write key phone numbers your child should know on a card placed in the backpack. Give these numbers to the school administrator as well.
  • What are the school’s emergency procedures? Emergency plans and phone numbers are usually included in school handbooks and posted in classrooms. Taking a few extra minutes to familiarize yourself and your child with emergency information can boost confidence to act quickly in emergency situations.
  • What are the travel routes to and from the school? Make sure you and your child know both primary and alternate routes. In an emergency, roads can be blocked and it’s important to have a backup plan.
  • How can your child stay safe when interacting with others? Talk about instinct and paying attention to funny feelings of fear. Explain what to do if they don’t feel safe (find a teacher, call 911, etc.). Make sure your child knows how to contact you or a trusted neighbor who is likely to be at home.

Other tips for parents include:

  • Know and follow the school’s security and safety measures. These might include signing in when visiting the school, being escorted when walking through the building, or wearing a visitor pass.
  • Inform school staff about health and emotional concerns. Whether your child has a food allergy, a physical disability, or has been subject to bullying, make sure to keep your child’s teachers and principal in the loop.

Ensuring that your children know simple but important safety rules when they are in school and  away from your supervision supports their health and safety, and your peace of mind as a parent or guardian.