Time to Get Ready for Kindergarten! Preparing for Your Child’s First Academic Milestone
August is Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
This is an emotional time in the life of parents and kids alike, the first day of kindergarten can be stressful and scary, but, it doesn’t have to be. It’s not too late to make sure that you and your child are ready for kindergarten. Let the adventure begin!
Altus Emergency Centers strongly supports every child’s right to an education, and we believe every kid has the potential to change the world for the better, which is why we have put together a list of school safety tips, to ensure your child is well equipped and ready for kindergarten. Let’s make sure that their first step in their academic career is both fun and safe.
A Safe Ride to School
Getting Ready for Kindergarten Transportation
Depending on how far you live from your child’s school they could be traveling by bus, car, or walking. Here are some important safety tips to teach your child to make sure that they arrive back home safe and sound.
On the Bus
Riding the bus to school provides kids with a level of independence previously unknown to them and this can be both scary and confusing for first time riders. Make sure you get them ready for kindergarten transportation by the following:
Introduce your child to the bus driver and give them a little tour of the bus, so they become familiarized.
Teach your child not to step onto the street while waiting for the bus.
Children should use the bus’s handrail to get on and off the bus.
If your child needs to cross a street to get home, teach them they should wait for the bus driver to signal them it is safe to do so.
Instruct your child to stay seated during the entire bus ride.
Walking to School
Ready for a kindergartener walking to school? Not only is it important to not allow your child to walk to school unaccompanied, it’s important to consider the following:
If you cannot walk to school with your child every day, make sure you have practiced the route with them at least for a couple of weeks before you let them go accompanied with a responsible older child or adult.
It is advisable that young students travel in groups preferably accompanied by older students such as siblings or neighbors.
Instruct your kids to stick to the route you practiced with them, they should avoid detours or shortcuts.
Tell them not to play around when they are walking to or from school, they should not push, shove when they are close to the street.
Dress your child in brightly colored or reflective clothing.
Teach them how to safely cross a street and to respect traffic signals.
Eating and Snacking Safely at School
Ready for Kindergarten Snack Time!
Another very important factor to ensure that your child is ready for kindergarten is food safety. All parents worry about what their children are eating when they are not around, but, this concern is greater for parents of children with severe food allergies that could endanger the child’s life.
Most common food allergies in children include: peanuts and other nuts, dairy products, gluten, eggs, and soy.
If your child has food allergies, these are some tips on how to reduce of risk of exposure to the allergen:
Inform your child’s teacher and the school’s administrative staff of your kid’s condition and provide the school nurse with emergency treatment such as an EpiPen.
It is a good idea to have your child wear a medical ID bracelet.
Provide the school with your contact information and instructions to take your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment in case of an allergic reaction.
Although its a common practice to share snacks in kindergarten, it’s important to instruct your child to not try other foods in cases that they have very bad food allergies. It is a good idea to provide the teachers with safe snacks for your child, to help steer them away from the temptation of trying unsuitable snacks.
Recess will probably be the most fun part of your kindergartner’s day, but, as fun as the playground can be, it’s also where most injuries happen. During the get ready for kindergarten month, it’s especially important to learn about the risks of injuries and how to prevent them.
According to the CDC:
More than 200,000 children under the age of 14 need emergency care treatment for playground related injuries. Of these, children between the ages of 5 and 9 have higher rates of Emergency Center visits than any other age group, and most of their injuries happened on the school playground.
To minimize the risk of injury, we suggest:
You teach your kids to know their physical limitations, most injuries sustained by kindergarteners are from falls from swings, monkey bars, and other climbing activities.
Kids should only use playground equipment that is suitable to their age, they should avoid playing with older students who might cause unintentional harm to your child.
Demand that school officials provide a safe play environment for children, one where the playground equipment is in good working condition and free of obstructions such as tree stumps and rocks that might cause a child to fall.