Back to School Safety Tips
It won’t be long and school will be starting again. It is time to go over a few, simple rules. Practice with your host children how to safely wait for and board the school bus. Go over safe bicycling procedures if they’ll be riding. And don’t forget children who are in your car. They are at particular risk and need your guidance.
Riding the Bus
- Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.
- Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
- When being dropped off, exit the bus and walk ten giant steps away from the bus. Keep a safe distance between you and the bus. Also, remember that the bus driver can see you best when you are back away from the bus.
- Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.
- Stay away from the bus until the driver gives his/her signal that it’s okay to approach.
- Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses, however, not all do.
Walking and biking to school
Even if you don’t ride in a motor vehicle, you still have to protect yourself. Because of minimal supervision, young pedestrians face a wide variety of decisions making situations and dangers while walking to and from school. Here are a few basic safety tips to follow:
- Mind all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard — never cross the street against a light, even if you don’t see any traffic coming.
- Walk your bike through intersections.
- Walk with a buddy.
Wear reflective material…it makes you more visible to street traffic.
Riding in a car
Safety belts are the best form of protection passengers have in the event of a crash. They can lower your risk of injury by 45%. You are four times more likely to be seriously injured or killed if ejected from the vehicle in a crash.
Remember: One Person – One Belt
- Everybody needs a child safety seat, booster seat, or safety belt!
- There must be one safety belt for each person. Buckling two people, even children, into one belt could injure both.
- Everyone needs to be buckled up properly. That means older kids in seat belts, younger kids in booster seats and little kids in child safety seats.
- The back seat is the safest place in a crash. Children age 12 and under should ride properly restrained in back. Infants riding rear-facing must NEVER be placed in front of an airbag.
- People who are not buckled up can be thrown from the car or around inside the car, and seriously hurt themselves or others.
- Never hold a child on your lap! You could crush him/her in a crash, or the child may be torn from your arms.
- Never ride in the cargo area of a station wagon, van, or pickup! Anyone riding in the cargo area could be thrown out and severely injured or killed.
- No one seat is ‘best’, The ‘best’ child safety seat is the one that fits your child and can be installed correctly.
CHOOSING AND USING THE CORRECT SEAT
|AGE:||Birth to 1 year|
|WEIGHT:||Up to 35 pounds|
|TYPE OF SEAT:||Infant-only or Rear-facing Convertible|
|DIRECTION TO FACE:||Infants should ride rear-facing to at least 1 year of age AND at least 20 pounds, longer if possible. The seat should be at a 30-45 degree angle to keep the child’s head from falling forward. Do not tip it too far back or the child could come out of the seat in a crash.|
|NOTE:||Infants who outgrow a smaller infant-only seat before 1 year of age should ride rear-facing in a child safety seat with a higher rear-facing weight limit (over 22 pounds).|
|AGE:||Over 1 year to 4 years old|
|WEIGHT:||Over 20 pounds, up to 40 pounds|
|TYPE OF SEAT:||Convertible or Forward-Facing Only seat|
|DIRECTION TO FACE:||A child over 1 year of age AND over 20 pounds may ride facing forward. Use the upright position or the position recommended by
|NOTE:||Keep the child in a child safety seat with a full harness as long as possible, preferably until 4 years old. For children 40 pounds or more who are too young or too active to sit still in a booster seat, or if a vehicle has only lap belts, look for child restraints with harnesses labeled for use over 40 pounds.|
|AGE:||4 to 8 years old|
|WEIGHT:||Over 40 pounds|
|TYPE OF SEAT:||Belt-positioning Booster Seat, backless or high-back|
|DIRECTION TO FACE:||Forward-Facing|
|NOTE:||All children who have outgrown child safety seats should be properly restrained in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old, unless they are 4′ 9″ tall.|
Summer Safety Tips
1. Never leave a child unattended in a car, even with the windows
2. Always lock the car when not in use so kids can’t play in it.
3. Make sure to check the temperature of the car seat and seat belt
before buckling a child in the car.
4. Don’t keep a baby in the infant carrier for long periods of time
on hot days. It can feel much hotter in the seat than outside.
5. Dress children in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
6. Have children drink a lot of water (this is good advice for everyone).
7. Reduce or eliminate strenuous activities during the hottest parts
of the day.
Swimming Pool Safety Tips
An adult should be at arm’s length of any child under the age of 5
in a swimming pool
Never leave any child alone in or near the water
Keep a phone by the pool at all times
Always check the gate is closed properly when leaving the pool
Host families should review their own home and pool safety rules
with the au pair.
DON’T FORGET THE SUN SCREEN!
- Activities outside. Try to keep children out of the sun during the middle of the day when the sun is the strongest. If you take care of a baby, make sure it is never under the direct sun. Please make sure you put on a sunscreen on your kids and yourself 30 minutes BEFORE going outside. Make sure your kids are wearing hats, and you have plenty of drink with you.
- Car safety. I don’t need to repeat that you never ever leave kids alone in the car. However, I want to add that temperatures during summer can reach extremely high in the car. Before putting kids in the car, I advise you to turn it on for a few minutes with the air-conditioning running. This way, the car will be cool when you get inside with your kids.
- Personal Americans shower and use deodorants every day, and you all are expected to do the same. As the weather most likely is hotter and more humid here than in your country – you don’t want to have a body odor problem. Also, be careful with the choice of your clothes – overexposure will make your family and kids feel uncomfortable.
- Pool safety. No running near the pool – the area is wet and slippery, and your kid might slip and fall on the hard concrete floor. No glass containers (bottles, drinking cups) in the pool area. Make sure you watch your kids ALL the time – never take your eyes away from them even with the life guard on duty. Don’t let your kids to be in the pool too long. Once in a while take them in the shade to have a drink and some calming activity – read a book, etc. Don’t let your kids to jump in the pool from the side – have them walk down the steps.
- Plan activities. Many of you work more hours during summer because kids don’t have school then. Maximum hours you are allowed to work per week is 45. Make sure you plan your activities so they are fun not only for your kids, but also for you! Make playdates, take them to the park, to the zoo, museums, movies, etc. Discuss with the host parents what are you planning to do with the kids. Make sure you pack the bag you will take with you early enough so that you don’t run around looking for things in the last minute.
- Sunburn. How to treat it: apply a cool compress (an easy one: a small carton of milk or juice) for fast relief, or have a bath in a tepid water with ¼ cup each of baking soda and cornstarch. Aloe-vera plant gel is a good relief, too. Call the doctor if you have blisters from the sunburn