With a new school year or a new school term, it's always a good time to revisit ways in which we can help the kids stay healthy all year long. Staying healthy doesn't just mean without sickness bugs but also online, out and about and with friends. As my kids get older giving them more freedom and more independence is part of the ways in which I help prepare them for life as an adult, but with that comes the passing of information about staying safe and healthy. To help I've put together a resource for you as a parent with top tips from other parenting and education bloggers covering all areas of health and safety for your kids so that you can find the resources that you need.
Staying Healthy and Well
The start of the school year, the return after a break and the coming of the change of seasons (which ever season change it is) always means a cold and a cough for us. But over the years we have managed to reduce the number that we catch, however, we haven't managed to get rid of them completely.
Knowing what to give you kids in terms of medication and when, how much and by what method was and continues to be a minefield, Anna in her post How to Keep your Kids SAFE During Cough, Cold and Flu Season on My Life and Kids gives some top tips on administering medication to kids.
One of the common illnesses in the UK that we have to deal with as parents are Chicken Pox - find out our natural care for chicken pox with these homemade all natural solutions that will help alleviate the itching and pain caused by this common virus.
One of the best ways to reduce the amount of sickness that your kids get is to teach them practical skills like Handwashing this post from Carrots are Orange gives some great tips on teaching your little ones how to wash their hands properly to avoid germs.
Although the health of your teeth may not seem to have a huge impact on the rest of your body you will be surprised. I spent 6 months in the last school year just feeling under the weather as it turned out it was all to do with a seriously infected tooth. It's now cleared up thanks to a root canal (not something that I want my kids to experience anytime soon) so Teaching Kids Good Oral Hygiene is really important. In this post from Parenting Chaos, there are some great tips for helping your kids start on the right track looking after their teeth.
In my children's class, there are a number of allergies to food, at home, I am the one that has the allergies. It may seem ridiculous to keep certain foods out of your child's lunch boxes or when you share food with the class but as someone that has anaphylaxis coming in contact with my allergen is deadly. I've been lucky in the past but you can help to make sure that others are too if you want to know more about this then read Don't Feed the Children from Fancy Shanty
Staying Safe Getting to and From School
At the moment my kids either walk with me to school or they catch a lift and get dropped off at the school gates. But I know it won't be long before they are heading off to school on their own - in our school it's allowed at parents discretion in Year 5 and 6 (around about 10 and 11 years old). Our school is close but we aren't like everyone so here's some advice for you to share with your kids helping them stay safe getting to and from school.
If they travel by bus to school, whether a public bus or a school bus it's important that they stay safe - in the UK this means using the seat belts provided and following the bus company and school rules for bus use. Get school and bus company can be different but there are some general safety tips that you can pass onto your kids - Kori at Home shares 8 tips to pass on to the kids for school bus safety and Lena over on What Mommy Does shares some tips for US to make sure that the kids stay safe on the school buses.
As I said though it will be a long time before my kids start to take the bus to school, however, both are asking about cycling to school and teaching them bike safety doesn't happen in schools anymore as far as I can tell so it's up to us as parents to teach them those skills as well. Jen over at Kitchen Counter Chronicles has a great suggestion for teaching Bike Safety to Kids.
General Safety advice to teach all kids
There are some things that all kids need to learn - like the number to call if there is an emergency, or their own address and phone number so if they get lost there is something that can be done about it.
Some of the other areas are ones that you may not think of - I remember growing up a huge campaign about stranger danger and I can tell you that the world is even scarier now especially as meeting those strangers isn't happening in public places it can occur in their bedroom - and I will be sharing more about that later. Kids though still need to know about stranger danger and if you have a special needs child then it can be difficult to get the idea across over on Putting Socks on Chickens there are some great tips for Teaching Kids with ADHD about Stranger Danger.
In Paula's post on her site Beauty Through Imperfection, she reminds us that although it's important to teach kids about Stranger Danger there are some problems with the concept. In the majority of cases, it's not strangers that are the problem but known people Dayna at Lemon Lime Adventures gives a very frank account of the Truth about Child Abuse, as someone that was safeguarding trained the account she gives is not that uncommon. But how do you help children with this a good way is to talk to them about touching and on Thriving Parents, there is a really good article on Talking to children about appropriate touching.
Another key safety aspect that children need to know about is Stop and Roll when there is a fire - over on Teach Preschool there are some fun ideas for teaching stop and roll fire safety to kids. I know my daughter just did this as part of a unit in year 1 on the Great Fire of London as it fitted in really nicely with the topic there as well.
Staying Safe Online
With kids being indoors and at home more it's important that they stay safe at home.
Read through it discuss it with your kids. Educate yourself about the games that they are playing and what they can do.
If you are at home with them why not jump on it and have a go.
It's better to be in the know and will give you and them something to talk about.