While summer is in full swing, families are enjoying their summer break. Before too long, however, it will be "back to school time". Summer is the perfect time to plan and prepare for the upcoming school year. With this in mind, we wanted to highlight 3 important areas you and your child should plan for and discuss. Spend a minute and learn about school health, first aid, and safety.
Back to school first aid
Parents want to keep their kids healthy and safe while in or out of school. While we can't always be there with them, we can teach them to deal with these problems while they are away from us. This section will detail the most common injuries at school, and how to treat them. Cuts and scrapes are at the top of the list. According to CheckYourHealth.org, “Two-thirds of elementary school injuries occur during recess.” The majority of these injuries are small injuries like cuts and scrapes. The best way to treat small cuts and scrapes is to clean the affected area with warm water and soap and place a bandage on the injury.
The next most common injuries are sprains and strains. As school starts, so begins the after-school activities and their potential injuries. Sprains and strains can happen in many ways, but generally, they come as a result of improper stretching and overexertion of muscles and joints. Some light stretching and warming up before the action can help prevent injury. If an injury does occur, it's best to stop the activity and get the injury looked at by a trainer or doctor. The Mayo Clinic says to rest up, ice, and elevate the injured area.
Probably the most common issue is school health. When you have hundreds of kids in the same place, sickness can spread quickly. Illnesses like the common cold, flu, sore throat, and stomach flu can be spread from school to our homes in no time. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 4 simple ways to avoid school-related illness. First and foremost get vaccinated. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. Second, practice good health habits. For instance, stay home when you're sick. The spread of germs from an infected individual happens most easily when you are close to the infected person. Third, use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze to avoid contaminating those closest to you. Lastly, and maybe the most important school health tip is to wash your hands. This works for the sick and the healthy alike. Stopping the spread of germs by washing your hands is crucial in keeping sickness at bay.
School Safety & Preparedness
With the number of kids at school and the potential for minor cuts and scrapes, it's always wise to be prepared individually. With so many first aid options today it's very easy to provide children with simple first aid supplies in a personal first aid kit. A good example of a personal first aid kit can be found here. This kit can be kept in a backpack, desk, or locker. Besides having a personal first aid kit, other items to consider: hand sanitizer, tissues, and depending on if your child has allergies some over-the-counter allergy tablets. All items that are brought to school should be approved by teachers and school staff. This way they know what's being brought into the school and it can be monitored. Having a list of items and a plan can make sure everyone involved is able to help keep children safe and ready to learn.
Every parent wants to see their child happy, healthy, and safe while at school. Spend a few minutes with your child this summer and talk about what to do if they get injured, how to prevent the spread of germs, and then get a personal first aid kit. Why not make it fun and let them make it themselves!