It’s back to school season again in Tennessee, but public education is going to look a little different this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
With most Nashville schools reopening virtually on August 4, it’s more important than ever to keep your kids safe from accidents or illness. Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys encourages parents to follow these back to school safety tips to prevent injuries this school year.
Virtual Learning Home Safety
Most students will begin the school year at home in a virtual learning environment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Nashville. Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) has announced that students will participate in distance learning from August 4 until at least Labor Day, citing health concerns as positive cases and hospitalizations continue to increase throughout the state. Make sure that you check with your specific private/public school or academy for opening dates and plans as they may differ.
While home is the safest place for your kids to be to protect them from the coronavirus, you should also make sure they have a safe and secure home environment free from hazards—especially if you are a working parent.
Need help paying for childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic? Apply for the Tennessee Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance Program.
Supervise Young Children
Young children shouldn’t be left unsupervised while virtual learning. Even if you are working just in the other room, check on your kids frequently. Be sure to store anything hazardous out of reach of children, including cleaning chemicals, medications and other potentially dangerous products.
In addition, be sure not to leave the stove unattended if you’re cooking in the kitchen. Young children are especially prone to home burn injuries if not properly supervised. Teach kids from a young age not to touch hot surfaces or play near the oven.
Finally, if you have a pool at home, ensure that it is inaccessible to young children. Although the time for summer swimming may be winding down, kids stuck at home may be tempted by an open door and may suffer a swimming pool accident.
Monitor Your Kids’ Online Safety
Your child’s school may provide you with wifi hotspots and devices to help facilitate virtual learning, but you should still monitor your child’s digital safety. Check in with them on a regular basis to make sure they are accessing only safe, school-appropriate websites.
Educate your kids about keeping their identifying information private when communicating online and avoiding talking to people they don’t know. Be especially wary of live streaming and video chatting platforms kids may use for school or to connect with friends, as these can be targeted by sexual predators, scammers, and other unsavory characters.
Prepare for In-Person Learning
There’s no set date for Nashville schools reopening in person, although MNPS hopes to get students back to their classrooms as early as after Labor Day. Although in-person instruction may still be a ways off, now is a good time to prepare with these additional back to school safety tips.
Drive With Caution
Increased morning traffic is soon to follow Nashville schools reopening. Be sure to always wear your seatbelt, avoid distracting driving, and always follow the speed limit, especially in school zones to prevent a car accident. If your teen is learning how to drive or just got their license, help keep them safe with these teen driving safety tips.
Teach Kids Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
If your kids will be walking or biking to school, make sure they know how to walk or ride defensively to avoid a bike or pedestrian accident. If your child will be walking or biking to school for the first time, go for a test run. Make note of crosswalks, stop signs, traffic lights, bikes lanes, and crossing guards. Make sure your child is fitted with a secure helmet, and encourage kids not to use their phone while walking or biking to school.
What To Do If Your Child Is Injured at School
Despite our best efforts as parents, sometimes accidents and injuries still happen. When they happen to your kids, you may be left feeling helpless and scared. If your child suffers an injury at or on their way to school, or while in childcare, you and your family may be entitled to compensation. If you believe someone else’s negligence caused your child’s accident, contact the Nashville personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys today.
We offer free no obligation consultations to all our prospective clients and don’t charge a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf. Call us today at 615-333-8888, chat with one of our representatives online, or send us a message using our contact form.