Back to school safety and health tips 

By Drum Digital
04 January 2016

It’s a new year, that time of the year where children prepare to go back to school.

By Nomzamo Ngcobo 

ER24’s Chitra Bodasing urges parents and children to keep their safety and health in mind.

She says that children should be careful at all times. “The earlier you take care of your health, the better. Just a few small changes in your child’s lunch box and daily routine can make a world of difference,” she also advices.

Safety tips for children:

  • If you walk to and back home from school, do so in a group. Never walk through quiet areas. If you see someone behaving suspiciously, get away from the person immediately and report the incident.
  • Ensure that valuables like cellphones are not visible.
  • Know the rules of the road. Cross roads where you are allowed to but ensure that it’s safe to do so.
  • Never accept or ask a stranger for a lift.
  • For those who are dropped off and picked up from school; parents and guardians should ensure this is done safely.
  • Parents and guardians should ensure that lift clubs or any other form of transport that is organised for children is safe. Know who is transporting the child. Children who feel unsafe in these vehicles should report it to their parents or guardians.
  • Always keep a list of emergency numbers to contact in case it’s needed.
  • If you decide to go somewhere after school or spend time with friends, always ask or let parents or guardians know where you are going and what time they should expect you back.

Health tips:

  • Lead a balanced lifestyle. A balanced lifestyle means healthy eating, getting enough rest and sleep, exercising and reducing stress.
  • A healthy eating plan can prevent certain illnesses as well as help improve your energy. You should include fruits and vegetables in your eating plan as they are full of antioxidants and vitamins. Cut down on the fatty foods, salt and sugar.
  • Refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol and talking drugs.
  • Get involved in sporting activities, regular exercise can help you stay fit.
  • Don’t expose yourself to too much sunlight. Exposing your skin to the sun’s rays for a long period of time increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Use approved sunscreen to protect your skin and drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
  • If you are a victim of bullying, any other form of abuse at home or school, or struggling to cope mentally, report or seek the help of a trusted person such as a parent/guardian, counsellor, teacher or principal.

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