Health & Safety Tips for the School Year Ahead
It’s time to grab the backpacks and pencils because back-to-school season is here! While you may be wrapping up any back-to-school shopping, it’s also important to consider the health and safety of your child as well.
No one wants to think about their child getting hurt, but it's important to be prepared for anything. From dealing with emergencies at school to what you can do at home, here are some tips to ensure your child is protected.
Your little ones may be bursting at the seams to see their friends at school, but it’s important to make sure they are fully prepared before they head into the classroom. Here are some tips to help prevent emergencies:
- Make sure your child is up-to-date on all their vaccinations. This will help protect them from serious illnesses like the flu or meningitis.
- Teach your child basic hygiene, safety, and first aid. This includes handwashing, sports and playground safety, how to properly clean a cut, and what to do if they get stung by a bee.
- Promote healthy eating. Help them pack a healthy lunch with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and water. Also, discourage them from trading snacks with other kids, as this can lead to food allergies or food poisoning.
- Diagnose any existing issues. If your child complains of a headache or stomachache, make sure to take them to the doctor to rule out any serious underlying conditions.
- Help them stay hydrated. Start by packing extra water in their lunchbox, purchasing a reusable water bottle to fill up at school, and encouraging them to drink frequently throughout the day.
Preparing for Emergencies at School
Accidents can happen anywhere — from the playground to the science lab. Here are some ways you can ensure your child is properly taken care of in the event of an emergency:
First and foremost, make sure your child's school has up-to-date contact information for you and your family. That way, if something does happen, the school can get in touch with you right away.
It’s possible that your child’s needs have changed since the school year ended. That’s why it's also a good idea to keep an updated list of your child's allergies and medications on hand, as well as any other pertinent medical information. That way, school staff will be able to act quickly and appropriately in case of an emergency.
In the event of a medical emergency, it's important to stay calm and think clearly. This will help you better communicate with school staff and make sure your child gets the care they need.
It’s also important to have a talk with your little one and explain to them what to do if they get hurt at school — including letting their teacher know and trying to stay calm until you get there.
Creating a Parent Network
Don't hesitate to reach out to other parents for support. Whether this is your child’s best friend, a neighbor, or a parent you feel comfortable with. If you're feeling overwhelmed, there's no shame in seeking out guidance from those who have been through it before. We're all in this together!
When Emergencies Happen at Home
While most minor illnesses and injuries can be treated at home, some medical emergencies require immediate attention.
Here are some of the most common pediatric emergencies and what you should do if they occur:
- Fever: if your child's temperature is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit or if they're experiencing other symptoms like lethargy or seizures, it's time to call the doctor.
- Vomiting: if your child is also experiencing diarrhea, dehydration, or blood in their vomit, it could be a sign of a more severe condition, and you should seek medical attention.
- Coughing: if your child is having difficulty breathing or if their cough is accompanied by other symptoms like wheezing or chest pain, it could be pneumonia or another severe respiratory infection. In this case, you should take them to the ER.
- Earache: if your child is complaining of ear pain, especially if they're also running a fever, call the doctor for an appointment.
- Choking: no matter the cause, choking is considered a medical emergency. If your child is choking, call 911 immediately and start performing CPR if you're trained.
- Sprains/Strains: if you suspect your child has a sprain, strain or fracture, bring them to the hospital immediately. Do not try to treat these injuries at home.
Pediatric Emergency Care in Longview, Nacogdoches, and Odessa
In addition to preparing for an emergency at school, it’s important to know where to take your child for the best care. At Excel ER, we proudly care for our Longview, Nacogdoches, and Odessa communities.
To learn more about the services we offer, visit our website today.
Getting your recommended reading in before the school year? Here are two blogs to catch up on: