Can you believe it?! It’s almost time for the kids to go back to school! Wow, that felt QUICK! Hopefully everyone has had an amazing summer and is ready to get back to a normal schedule. And while it’s important to get those school supplies, and uniforms, and all the accessories that seem to come into play every August, another very important aspect of going back to school is health and safety. Let’s face it: school won’t do much good for any child unless the child is healthy and safe!
While it’s true that we have no kids at home right now, I can remember preparing triplet boys and their little brother for school like it was yesterday. Quite the task! And, as always, preparation and organization are KEY. Let’s look at some ways YOU can organize in advance so your kiddos can stay safe and healthy when going back to school!
Staying Safe & Healthy When it Comes to Cleaning
- It’s always a great idea to have your children go back to school leaving a clean room behind. Get rid of all the toys that have been broken or “played out” over the summer, and go through their clothes to check and see how things are fitting. This way, if you come across a few blank composition books that have been lost under the bed, or that extra pair of next-size-up jeans that’s still sporting the tag, you can mark these things off your shopping list and save time…and money!
- Make sure you’re stocked up on your favorite cleaning supplies, as well. Things get very busy very fast when school starts up – if you’re already prepared with a variety of options for cleanup and disinfecting, you’ll be off to a better and healthier start!
- Now is also a great time to start implementing a few new rules. For instance, don’t wear outdoor shoes inside the house – you’ll not only cut back on germs being brought home from school, but dirt, too! Add “disinfecting the doorknobs” to your cleaning routine – not only will your doorknobs shine, but dirties and germies won’t spread as quickly from one hand to another! And why not purchase and set up several air purifiers around your home? Or some house-plants to promote a better air quality! That will cut down on dust in a big way!
Staying Safe & Healthy When it Comes to Common Colds
- It won’t be long until the usual happens: within the first few weeks of school, your child will be exposed to LOTS of peers and even more GERMS. Now is the time to go ahead and load them up on their vitamins, so their immune systems can be fighting strong as soon as they hit those classrooms!
- Also, take some time to give them a refresher course on proper hygiene – washing of hands, coughing and sneezing into their sleeve, not drinking after anyone…those kind of things. They may already, know, but it never hurts to offer a reminder!
- Start getting them back on a regular sleeping schedule. Not only will this help make the transition back into school easier, but a well-rested child has been proven to be a healthy child!
Staying Safe & Healthy When it Comes to Toxins
- It seems every day we are hearing about something else that’s toxic in our every day lives. First of all, make sure all of your child’s school supplies for the new year are non-toxic. How?
- Avoid brands of toys and crayons that contain asbestos – a naturally occurring mineral that is a known human carcinogen and banned in most countries, but not the US or Canada. A recent investigation found that four brands of children’s crayons on the market today contain asbestos.
- Know your schools reporting and removal policy if asbestos is found during a renovation. Your children’s school should have a policy on how asbestos should be removed to avoid potential exposure. According to the EPA, there is asbestos in over 100,000 schools in the U.S.
- Secondly, think of how you pack your child’s lunch. Now is a great time to purchase and begin to use some heavy-duty BPA and PVC-free food containers, instead of putting everything inside plastic. Even if you’re using wholesome food, you’re undoing the goodness by placing it in nasty plastic containers!
- Thirdly, do some research into local organic growers, and start moving your family in that direction – or grow food yourself! Your child (and your entire family!) will be the better for it!
This is such a broad topic; there are SO many aspects to health and safety when it comes to our kids and our schools! Some other things you might want to touch on with your children:
- Getting to school safely (crossing the road, riding the bus, teenage driving)
- Standing up against bullies (in person and online)
- Respect for others (respect for teachers, other races, and people who are different)
Are YOU ready for the kiddos to go back to school? What’s your best health and safety tip? Do share!
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!