Amador County Offers Safety Tips
School safety is an on going issue – no matter what time of the year it is, tips and ideas about promoting school safety are always appropriate. Normally, though, we see a slew of articles and dispatches about school safety tips when the school year starts in late August or early September. It was thus a bit of a surprise to me when I ran across a feature article in The Ledger Dispatch, a publication of the Amador County, highlighting some practical school safety tips.
Many of the tips we can often see in the usual run-of-the-mill safety articles. There are some aspects that are not so common, though. Here are some of them. I hope that you will be once again reminded, as I was, of the importance of being vigilant at all times, start of the school year or not.
Backpack safety – Choosing the wrong backpack and packing it improperly can put strain on the back muscles and may increase curvature of the spine. So when choosing a backpack, select one with two wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Also, remember to always use both straps and pack as lightly as possible. A rolling backpack is a great alternative for students carrying a heavier load, but remember that it must be carried up steps. A backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the student’s body weight.
I know about this but sometimes, children and parents tend to overlook this matter. I remember seeing a child with the heaviest backpack in the world recently. He was about 7 or 8 and because of his backpack, you would have thought that he was going on a long camping trip instead of going home from school! Parents should be vigilant as to the kind of bag children use and how heavy they pack it.
Internet safety – Many students utilize the Internet for research purposes during the school year. Social networking is also a common use of the Internet as students get back in touch with old friends and make new ones. Parents should be aware of, and talk to their children about, content that is not appropriate for young computer users, as well as potential online dangers like conversations with predators and cyber-bullying.
This topic is in the forefront of issues these days. After that incident with a mother bullying a teenage girl over on MySpace, we should all realize that Internet interaction can be just as deadly as “real-life” interaction.
Money matters – Students of all ages may need to carry cash for reasons such as transportation, food and other small purchases. To prevent loss or theft, students should not bring credit cards or large sums of money to school; they should only carry what they actually need for the day. Many schools and colleges are making it safer and easier for both parents and students by utilizing digital technology to help students manage their money or even eliminate the need for cash.
Times are hard and children with extra money are easy prey. We should teach our children how to keep safe with regard to this. Better yet, avoid allowing your children to carry even relatively large amounts of cash on them.