Back-to-School Safety Tips

You can help protect your children from the most frequent kinds of school-related injuries by following these practical, proven tips.

By Christine Many from Reader's Digest

On the Playground

13. Check the playground equipment at your child’s school. Look for hazards such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. The surface around the equipment should be covered with wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or fiber material to prevent head injury when a child falls. Report any hazards to the school.

14. Avoid any drawstrings on the hood or around the neck of jackets and sweatshirts. Drawstrings at the waist or bottom of jackets should extend no more than three inches long to prevent catching in car and school bus doors or getting caught on playground equipment.

15. Make sure that the school’s athletic director or a custodian anchors soccer goals into the ground so they won’t tip over and crush a child.

15. Teach children proper playground behavior: no pushing, shoving, or crowding.

16. Give your child some strategies for coping with bullies. He should not give in to a bully’s demands, but should simply walk away or tell the bully to stop. If the bullying continues, talk to the teacher.

17. Make sure your child’s school has up-to-date information on recalled toys and children’s products. Schools, daycare providers and parents can receive recall information by fax, email, or in the regular mail free of charge by calling the Consumer Product Safety Commission hotline at 800-638-2772, or visiting the organization’s web site.