Sometimes you just wish you could put your child in a bubble and shield them from the world forever… You look into those innocent eyes and all you want is for them to be healthy, happy, and safe. Sending your child off to be in someone else’s care may have you feeling uneasy, and if so, we can help!
Read these tips for how to keep your child safe in kindergarten, and put your mind at ease about your kindergartener’s safety at school.
One of the best things you can do for your kindergartener’s safety is make sure the school you’re sending them to cares about their safety as much as you do. Before enrolling your child in kindergarten, find out as much information as you can about the school.
You can search the internet to find out what other families have to say about their experience at the school, but you should also go there and get a feel for it yourself. Set up a meeting with your kindergartener’s potential new principal, and come loaded with questions.
Take a moment to look at the playground area before you head inside… Does the play equipment look age appropriate and well maintained? Is the area fenced in?
During your meeting, be sure to get a clear idea of the school’s safety policies, such as:
- How emergency drills are handled
- Whether there is a no tolerance policy for bullying
- If visitors are allowed in the building unescorted
- What the pick up procedures are, and if there are policies in place to ensure a child is not released to anyone they shouldn’t be released to.
Making sure the school’s policies align with what you feel is best for your child is extremely important in keeping them safe in kindergarten.
Your child’s kindergarten should know about any serious health issues, allergies, disabilities, or dietary restrictions so they can be proactive in case of an emergency. Any medications your kindergartener needs to take during school hours should be discussed with the school so they can arrange for it to be administered at the appropriate time.
If your kindergartener has any serious allergies you may be required to leave an emergency Epipen with the school just in case. Schools typically keep common food allergens out of the building, but you can’t always control what another student might bring as a snack. It’s important to make sure your child understands their allergies, and any foods they need to avoid eating.
Making sure that your kindergartener understands the importance of boundaries can help keep them safe. It’s important that your kindergartener learns that they are in control of their bodies, and they can say no to situations that make them feel uncomfortable.
Your kindergartner also needs to know the importance of talking to an adult they trust when something doesn’t feel right. To help your kindergartener understand the importance of boundaries, consent, and respect read them this age appropriate story: Let‘s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent, and Respect by Jayneen Sanders.
Head over to Youtube to hear Jayneen read her book aloud before you buy it.
It’s important that your kindergartener knows that they are able to come to you about anything that makes them feel unsafe, so encourage communication as often as possible. Your kindergartener may not always recognize when a situation is unsafe, so the more questions you ask them about the day the easier it will be to learn what’s going on in your child’s life.
Ask your kindergartener things like:
- Do you feel safe at school?
- Is there anything about school you don’t like?
- Does anybody at school make you feel bad or scared?
- Who is your favorite friend at school?
- Has anybody at school ever asked you to keep a secret?
- What is your favorite thing to do at school?
Making these conversations a normal part of your day is a great way to help your kindergartener feel comfortable opening up about anything that’s bothering them, and just get in the habit of discussing their day with you. The more your kindergartener is willing to share with you, the better you will feel about their safety while they’re away from you.