Cedar Park, Texas (PRWEB) August 14, 2013
The new school year is approaching very fast, Master Gary A. Schill is the President and Chief Instructor of Peak Performance Martial Arts. As a parent of 5 it is nerve wracking sending your child off to school and then worrying about their activities after school. Master Schill put together some safety tips and tricks for families. These will help children remain safe before, during and after school.
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
- Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
- Considering a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in dirt and mud and they will not fit in a traditional locker.
TRAVELING TO AND FROM SCHOOL
Review the basic rules with your youngster:
- School buses with lap/shoulder seat belts: Make sure children use one at all times when in the bus. Encourage school districts without lap/shoulder belts to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.
- Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
- Do not move around on the bus.
- Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing.
- Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
- Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.
- Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
- Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
- Use appropriate hand signals.
- Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
- Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.
- Know the "rules of the road." Walking to School
- Make sure your child's walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
- Educate children on pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
- Young children walking to new school, walk with them the first week to make sure they know the route and can do it safely.
- Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
- In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, or over the Internet.
When Children are Bullied
- Help them learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
1. Look the bully in the eye.
2. Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
3. Walk away.
- Teach children how to say in a firm voice.
1. "I don't like what you are doing."
2. "Please do NOT talk to me like that."
3. "Why would you say that?"
- Teach children when and how to ask for help.
- Encourage children to make friends with other children.
- Support activities that interest your child.
- Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
- Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child's safety and well- being when you cannot be there.
- Be sure children knows that bullying is never OK.
- Set firm and consistent limits on children's aggressive behavior.
- Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
- Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
- Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied.
When Children are witnesses to bulling:
- Tell children not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
- Encourage children to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
- Help children support other children who may be bullied. Encourage them to include these
children in activities.
- Encourage children to join with others in telling bullies to stop.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE
- Elementary to Middle School age children need supervision. A responsible adult should be available to get them ready and off to school in the morning and watch over them after school until you return home from work.
- Children approaching adolescence (11- and 12-year-olds) should not come home to an empty house in the afternoon unless they show unusual maturity for their age.
- If alternate adult supervision is not available, parents should make special efforts to supervise their children from a distance. Children should have a set time when they are expected to arrive at home and should check in with a neighbor or with a parent by telephone.
- Parents choosing a commercial after-school program, make sure and inquire about the following:
1) Training of the staff. There should be a high staff-to-child ratio and they should be adults, not
2) They should require homework time. This allows children to finish their homework while the
instructions are freshest in their minds. Not waiting for 3-4 hours after they get picked up to
remember what their teacher taught them.
3) Make sure the after school facility does not let them play video games instead of providing an
academic or physical curriculum. Video games have been proven to be a leading cause of
ADD and ADHD. They also promote obesity and lack of social skills.
4) Seek an after-school program with a specific daily curriculum. Even more important, look for
a facility that provides a physical curriculum as well.
Master Schill is a leading authority on Child and Family Development. A 3 Time Best Selling Author and Recipient of the coveted "Quilly"Award from the National Academy of Best Selling Authors. Master Schill has been featured on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and the USA Today. He has also put together a video and book to assist parents in choosing the proper after school program for their children.