Friday, August 29, 2014

August in a Nutshell

Ready, Writing, and Preparedness!

By Squiggy the Squirrel

It's officially that time of year - back to school - and everyone's favorite squirrel (yes, that's me!) prepared a list of items I need to buy for the new year:
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Notebooks
  • Crayons
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • First Aid kit
  • Flashlight

You may be wondering why I added those two last items on my shopping list. Do they seem out of place to you? Wouldn't the school handle those items? The answer is most likely yes. But what about after school? Many kids come home after school and are alone for a few hours before their parents or guardians get home from work. If your child is too young, they shouldn't be left alone. Consider after-school child care, after-school programs or sports, or a babysitter. But if your child is old enough, you may believe they're responsible and able to be left alone after school until you come home from work. If this is the case, here is a list of things you should do in your home to make sure your child is prepared and safe. 

What parents/guardians should do in their homes:

Create an emergency contact list including 9-1-1, work and cell phone numbers of parents/guardians, and numbers for neighbors and extended family members. Put the list in a place that's easy to spot, like the refrigerator or near your landline phone. 

  • Have a stocked first aid kit and flashlight in an accessible place in the home. Make sure your child knows where they are, is familiar with the items in the kit, and knows how to use the flashlight.
  • Come up with an emergency plan with your child so they know what to do in case of a fire, injury, or other emergencies. Practice the plan.
  • Lock up or hide out of reach any dangerous items like guns, knives, power tools, razor blades, scissors, and other objects that could be harmful.
  • Make sure detergents, polishes, pesticides, car fluids, lighter fluids, and oils (potential poisons) are out of reach, hidden, or stored in locked cabinets.
  • Limit any cooking a young child can do. Make sure at least one working smoke alarm is installed on ea ch level of your home.
In addition, here are some other back to school safety tips:
  • Make sure your child knows his/her home phone number and address, parents/guardians' work phone numbers, and how to dial 9-1-1.
  • Remind your child not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don't know.
  • Research your school's emergency plan and how you would be notified if an emergency happened at the school. Ask your child's teacher questions if you have any.
  • Remind your child that the best thing they can do if an emergency happens at school is to stay calm and listen to their teacher.
  • Make a copy of the emergency contact list discussed earlier and tape it to the inside of one of your child's notebooks.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Good luck with the new school year! Don't hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions. 


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