Wednesday, July 15, 2009

School Days - Back-to-School Safety Reminders Can Help Prevent Accidents and Injuries

Concern about safety is easy to take backseat amid the rush to stock up on fresh school supplies and fall's hottest elementary-school fashions. But most parents are surprised to find school related accidents account for about 2.2 million injuries each year in children under the age of 14. Fortunately, many of them are easily preventable.

Here's a look at where and how school-related injuries occur, and some simple precautions parents can take to keep children safe.

Playgrounds account for the majority of school-related injuries in falls from equipment making up more than half of them. Adequate playground surfacing - at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch or other loose-fill safety surface - who maintained throughout the years has proven to prevent injuries from falls. Kids are kids in the playground, and scrapes and bumps are just part of it, but enough to cover your child's school can help reduce risks.

Back-to-school time also increases kids' risk of injury due to traffic, bicycles and school buses. Review ALL of the basic rules of traffic safety in your walkers, car and bicycle Riders Riders to ensure the safe and from the practices of schools. Bicycle Riders should always wear a helmet (buy a "cool" if you need one ... it is cheaper than brain surgery!) At certain bike Riders learn and follow bicycle rules of the road. Bus Riders should arrive at the bus stop early, and follow the driver safety policies, walk a few steps away from exiting the bus, and wait for the bus left before crossing the street.

Perhaps the most effective preventative against measure traffic injuries are organized and on time. Although easier said than done, it is true when children and parents rush to get to the last minute, safety rules and precautions may be forgotten. Kids dash across the street and parents through the roll stop signs - that just how the accident happened. This is a challenge, but adding 15 minutes to your morning routine can dramatically reduce the risks to your family and others.

Clothing such as drawstring hoods and accessories such as backpacks also account for many injuries each year - and even some deaths in the past. Drawstrings and backpack straps can be caught in the bus or car doors, a very real and dangerous hazard. Remove or shorten drawstrings on younger kids' clothes and, once adjusted to size, cut loose or dangling backpack straps to prevent the injury.

Organized sports is another contributor to the tally of schools relating to damage, but these will not become "just part of the game." Parents should be fully aware of all the risks and make sure kids are properly conditioned, prepared for the physical demands of sport, and that the proper safety equipment is always used. Also ensure that the school sports program is prepared to treat emergencies during both training and competition.

Kids will always be kids. Accidental scrapes, bumps, falls, and even a break or two is a few things in that we signed on as for parents. But a little extra effort on the part of keeping the busy school year gets underway can mean the difference between a simple band-aid fix or 32 stitches - or worse!

The following websites offer additional information on school-related injuries and preventative steps: -


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