Today’s post is republished from Ken Levinson’s personal site, with his full blessing:
The newness of the back-to-school season is here, and many parents are thinking about how to keep their kids safe when they send them off to class. The biggest dangers come to fruition when we let our guard down. One of my top safety tips is to always be aware of your surroundings, for accidents happen when we least expect them. There are common, everyday dangers that we may not be considering for our children.
Kids could be damaging their spines and backs from carrying bags that are too heavy. To prevent this, pack only the essentials each day, and clean bags out frequently together.
We want our children to be well-rounded individuals. That is why we send them to school, pick them up and take them to soccer practice, rush from there to piano lessons, run through the drive-thru for some quick dinner before getting home and tackling homework. Kids are growing; they need proper nutrition and a full-nights sleep to function at their best. Sign them up for one extra-curricular a season, and make an effort to eat family meals at home.
Bullying is not a topic that has been shied away from by the media. The first step in ending bullying is raising confident children. Teaching them how to love themselves can help them learn compassion for others. Show children good examples at home and let them go forth and interact in healthy relationships.
Preventing illnesses should be at the top of our safety checklists. Dress children according to the weather. Dress in layers with the option to take off. Even a light jacket can make a difference in the fall season. Also, make sure they are armed with personal hand sanitizer, and know to wash hands frequently.
As I frequently stress: kids will be kids. They will get bumps and bruises on the playground, they will run themselves ragged in activities, they will have disagreements with classmates and they will get the flu. As parents, it is our role to know that we are prepared for these dangers and that we can fix all of these problems. Fall has so much to offer, staying safe just takes a little bit off of our plates to be able to enjoy it!
Ken Levinson is a child injury lawyer who actively speaks in the Chicago area and nationally on child injury prevention. In Levinson’s new book, Protecting Our Children, he draws from his experience as a trial lawyer to discuss how injuries occur and help parents proactively avoid crib death, school bullying, organized sports injuries, daycare injuries, street accidents, school bus hazards and more. Ken Levinson’s blog called “The Safest Line” also offers valuable safety tips. Levinson has been recognized in the Chicago Law Bulletin as a top lawyer in Illinois and was recently published in Chicago Magazine as a 2012 “Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyer” out of 85,000 lawyers in the state.