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Basic rules to teach your children

Now that your child is heading back to school, it is good practice to teach these playground guidelines and safety rules to prevent potential problems and reduce the chance of injury.  

  • Listen to the playground supervisor on duty. Follow all directions the first time they are given.
  • Always play safely by being careful, friendly and courteous.
  • Never push or shove. No bullying. Mean words are not permitted.
  • Check your clothes. Make sure your shoes are tied. Don’t wear necklaces, scarves, drawstrings or very loose clothes that could get tangled.  Tuck your loose fitting clothes in and put jewelry and scarves in your backpack beforehand.
  • If equipment is wet, stay off and keep away as it will be slippery and potentially dangerous.
  • In the summer, touch equipment first to be sure it is not too hot.
  • When more than one person wants to use equipment, share.  Make a line. Wait your turn. Butting in line is not allowed.
  • Before getting off equipment, always make sure no one is in the way.
  • If you or someone is hurt or if there is a problem, tell the playground supervisor or your teacher.

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  • Take one step at a time and hold the handrails with both hands when climbing the ladder to the top. Do not run up the slide from the bottom.
  • Slide down feet first and sitting up, never head first or on your back, knees or stomach.
  • Wait your turn.  Go down one at a time with no fancy tricks.
  • Before sliding, be sure the bottom is clear and no one is in the way.  When you reach the bottom, immediately get off and move away from the slide.

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  • Never walk directly in front or in back of someone swinging…keep a good distance away.
  • Always sit down and do not stand or kneel.  Hold the chains tightly with both hands.
  • Slow down and stop the swing completely before getting off.
  • Never jump out of swings, twist chains or swing sideways. Never push an empty swing.
  • Do not double up with two children to a swing or try to swing too high.

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Climbing Equipment:

  • Keep well behind the person in front of you and be careful of swinging feet.  Never reach for bars or ropes that are too far away.
  • When jumping down from bars or ropes, look first to make sure you have enough room to not hit the equipment or hurt yourself.  Bend your knees land on both feet.
  • No pushing or crowding.  Everyone should start from one side and move in the same direction. When climbing down, watch out for those climbing up.

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Balls, jump ropes, hoops and other small equipment:

  • Stay well away from the large playground equipment.
  • Share, take turns with smaller equipment and play safely with no hogging or rough play.
  • Do not throw balls in a way to harm others or create danger.
  • If your ball goes outside of the playground, first ask the teacher or playground supervisor for permission before you get it.


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bike safety 5

Teach your kids to ‘learn and earn’ the privilege to ride their bike to school

Biking to school involves much more skill and attention than walking and can be dangerous if safety precautions are not taken. Here are some important bicycle safety awareness to be practiced during this school year.

  • Check with your school to make sure bike riding is allowed.  Some schools do not allow students to ride bicycles to school until they reach a specific grade.
  • Find out where to park the bike at school and if a lock is required.
  • Inspect your child’s bike, or take it in for a professional safety inspection.  Look over the brakes, wheel alignment, seat, handlebars, pedals, tires, axle nuts and bearings and chain. If needed, replace, tighten or adjust bike parts to insure your child’s bike is safe to ride.
  • Insist on a helmet!  It is essential to safe bike riding for the prevention of head injury.
  • Plant the safest route to school with your child. A safe route will avoid busy roads when there are quieter routes available.  Practice riding the planned route with your child until they demonstrate mastery with all of the rules.  Cardinal rule: never deviate from the planned route.
  • Ride with a friend, if possible. There is safety in numbers.
  • Teach your child how to obey the rules of the road; the rules are the same for all vehicles, including bicycles.  Always observe stop signs (even if no other vehicle is visible), yield signs and other traffic markers.  Instruct your children walk, not ride, their bike across busy intersections.
  • If sidewalks are not available, always stay on the right-hand side of the road and ride in the same direction as traffic.  If riding with a friend, always ride single file. Street riding is never advised for small children.
  • Use wheel reflectors and have your child wear bright neon reflective colors.  A backpack with neon reflective strips or tape is a great safety item for your bike riding children.

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 Use the following hand signals to alert others when turning:

1. Left turn: Left hand and arm held straight out, pointing left.

2. Right turn: Left hand and arm held straight up or right arm held straight out, pointing right.

3. Stop: Left hand and arm held straight down.

Final note to kids:

Always ride to and from school directly, with no extra stops or shortcuts, even if  your friends insist.  Learn these rules. Arrive at school and then back home at the designated time to insure your safety and to keep your fun ‘biking to school’ privilege ongoing!



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walking to school 2

Coach your child on these walking safety tips

Walking to school is fun and also may be a convenient alternative to driving for parents.  Teaching your children to follow these tips will insure a safe walk to and from school.

  • Leave early enough to arrive at school at least 10 minutes before school starts.
  • Go straight home after school. Do not go anywhere else without permission.
  • Parents:  Select your child’s route and tell them to follow the same route every day. Pick the safest route between your home and the school and practice walking it with your children. Coach your child not let friends talk them into taking shortcuts.
  • Younger children should always walk with an adult. Older children should walk with friends if possible.
  • Coach your child to never hitch hike or get into a vehicle with anyone, even if they  know them, without your permission.
  • If a stranger directly approaches and engages your child, make sure they know to walk away and immediately report the incident to you or a teacher.
  • Also have your children talk to you or their teacher immediately about bullying or anything else harmful or distressing that happened during their walk.
  • Always use public sidewalks and streets.
  • Teach your children to how to recognize and obey traffic signals, signs, pavement markings and adult crossing guards.
  • Only cross streets at designated crosswalks, street corners and traffic controlled intersections.
  • Watch out for cars and trucks pulling in or out at every driveway and intersection on the walk to school.  Be alert for drivers in parked cars, or cars with engines running as they may be getting ready to move.

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How to cross the street safely:

1. Stop at the curb or edge of the street.

2. Do not talk or text on a cellphone until you have crossed the street.

3. If there is a traffic light, stop and wait on red and yellow, and walk on green.

4. If there is no traffic light, look left, right, left again, and behind you and in front of you for traffic.

5. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing.

6. Keep looking for traffic and stop if necessary, until you have finished crossing.

7. Walk, don’t run across the street.



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school bus

It’s the time of year when parents are preparing their children for back to school. Following these safety tips and protocols will keep your youngsters safe.

  • Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus.
  • Make sure your child stays out of the street, remains calm and avoids rough behavior while waiting for the bus.
  • Stand at least 3 giant steps (or about six feet) away from the curb.
  • Make sure your child understands they must stay seated and keep their head and arms inside the bus at all times.
  • Never shout or distract the driver.
  • No loud behavior, teasing or bullying.
  • Never walk in the bus driver’s “blind spot”. This is the space from the front of the bus moving out to 10 feet.
  • Let the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on or off.


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It’s no longer recommended for poisoning treatment!

Do NOT give syrup of ipecac or induce vomiting. Experts including the American Association of Poison Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, no longer endorse this treatment for poisoning.  Its effectiveness has been deemed highly questionable, and it can do more harm than good. It is recommended to throw away any bottles of syrup of ipecac you may have in your home.

Call 911 or seek immediate emergency treatment.  While waiting, if the suspected poison is a household cleaner or other chemical, read the container’s label and follow instructions for accidental poisoning. Gather other suspected poisoning containers or pill bottles for emergency teams when they arrive.

Know your local poison control hotline number and keep it in a handy place.

National poisoning help and hotline: (800) 222-1222
American Association of Poison Control Centers

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