“Be prepared” is not just a Boy Scout mantra, but also a smart phrase to instill in your children as they head back to school. There are three safety lessons kids need to know before heading back to class. Children need to remember their parents cell phone number or their home phone number, they need emergency money in a safe place, and they need a way to alert others in case of an emergency.
Here are three safety items your child will need that can be made in two or three simple steps:
Studies show that kids who yell “help” when in distress are often ignored as these cries could be confused with playful humor or playground yelling. To grab people’s attention, it is important to say or yell words that are out-of-place for the environment they are in. For example, yelling ‘fire’ will usually grab peoples, attention, but can be dangerous given the situation. A loud noise that is out-of-place is a safer solution and a safety whistle is a great answer. Add a decorative ribbon or stickers to make sure your child remembers the whistle when they go out. As always, remember to have conversations with your child daily to reinforce good decisions and point out possible dangers.
Money is important when it comes to safety. Sometimes a little cash on hand could solve some small emergencies. The important rule of thumb when it comes to kids and cash is the distinction between emergency and fun. To create this separation and to keep the cash from being stolen, it is a smart idea to have a secret hiding place. Putting money in your shoe, under your hat, or in other articles of clothing is a recipe for loss. A great solution is keeping the money in your child’s backpack in a Chapstick tube. Yes, a chapstick tube. It’s easy to make one on your own with these easy steps:
1. Twist the ChapStick to the end so that the balm falls out – be sure to hold on to the cap you will need that later.
2. Clean off the waxy residue left in the tube with a paper towel.
3. Fold your cash in half-length wise and roll it up very tightly.
4. Slide the money into the tube and replace the cap.
Most kids are too young for smart phones, but they do need to be able to contact you in emergencies. The best way for your child to remember your phone number is a song that has your number in it. It’s easy. Take a song that your child is into (remember frozen?) and replace the words with your phone number. The connection your child makes to the song and your phone number will keep it in their head for years. Just wait until they are 30, they will still remember the number.
If you have any ideas about school safety that have worked for you and your family, please share your story with us.
Find more back-to-school tips for military families on SpouseLink!
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