It sure has been a strange year. As parents and students figure out the temporary changes, there are bound to be some growing pains. In those stressful times, it's nice to have a list of pointers to follow. That's why we've compiled 10 back to school safety tips for 2020.
Given the current situation, this post especially focuses on health safety. However, we go beyond sickness and talk about things like backpack weight, car safety, and more. Check the list out and give it a share if you find these tips helpful!
Rule number one of back to school safety is to stay home when sick. There are no prizes for those trying to "tough it out." Instead, help classmates and teachers by keeping children home when sick. This is especially important when new illnesses are circulating in the community.
Don't always have access to a sink with soap? Use hand sanitizer when you can't wash your hands. Make sure the hand sanitizer is at least 70 percent alcohol too. While washing your hands is preferable, hand sanitizer helps in a pinch to kill viruses and bacteria.
When in close contact with others, wear a mask. This helps prevent the spread of germs when talking, coughing, or sneezing. N95 masks and surgical loop masks are most effective, but even a cloth mask (regularly washed) will slow the spread.
Just like wearing a seatbelt or a bike helmet, wearing a mask only works if you use it properly. Make sure the mask always covers your mouth and nose, especially when talking. Don't touch your mask frequently either, to avoid spreading germs from your mask to your hands.
See the CDC website for more info.
One of the most important back to school safety tips is to keep friend gatherings small. While kids want to see all their friends again, it's more important to stay healthy. Try keeping friend gatherings to four kids or fewer. Additionally, space out friend gatherings over time so they aren't clustered together. This minimizes the potential spread of sickness.
We should mention some non-sickness back to school safety tips. An important one is to watch the weight of backpacks. Many children inadvertently have back pain or bad posture because of overfilled backpacks.
As a rule, backpacks should never clock in at more than 10-15 percent of a child's weight. This is especially important now that kids often carry laptops in addition to books. Regularly weigh your child's backpack to make sure it's safe.
Plans for kids can change quickly, especially in middle and high school. Make sure you keep in touch with your kid when plans change. It doesn't need to be a big to-do (and making it one may upset teens) but a simple text from children to parents letting them know they'll be home at a different time is helpful.
For those driving, you must take responsibility for the safety of children. Slow down in school zones, even when inconvenient. Twenty miles per hour may seem slow, but that gives pedestrians a 90 percent chance of survival in an accident. At 30 miles per hour, that drops to just 50 percent. And at 40 miles per hour, it's only 10 percent.
Some other things drivers must do:
Remember to stay healthy and look out for others this fall. And if you know others who could benefit from back to school safety tips, share this post with them!