We are coming upon the end of summer, which signals to every parent, caregiver, or teacher that it’s time to head back to school. As your children get ready to see their friends, teachers, and school staff again (or for the first time), we want to highlight some specific safety concerns for the new school year. With this information, both caregivers and children can enter the new school prepared and ready to learn.
While school shopping, pulling last year’s school clothes back out, or going through hand-me-downs, avoid clothing with drawstrings in hoodies and other cold weather clothes, since they post a strangulation hazard. For young children, watch out for items on clothing that can become detached and pose a choking hazard, such as the recently recalled Laura Ashley Dress.
It may seem as though fidget spinners (including light-up versions) are everywhere these days, but always follow CPSC’s safety instructions when using these products. As with many battery-powered toys, like the hoverboard, they can overheat and cause burns or fires. KID recently wrote a blog specifically on fidget spinner safety that highlights all the important information.
Most importantly, do not overcharge any battery-operated toys. Have an adult watch the toy while charging so they can remove it right when it hits 100% charged. Always use the correct cables for the gadget, preferably the one that came with it when bought.
Caregivers should also be aware of hazards associated with other children’s battery-powered toys or jewelry, such as watches. These can also burn children if they are not working correctly or have been recalled.
Backpacks are an essential item for school-aged children. Before buying a backpack, check to see if the model has been recalled on cpsc.gov or if there have been any incidents on saferproducts.gov. Also, if backpacks are worn incorrectly they can cause back pain –backpacks should fit well and stay 2 inches above the waist so that they do not cause any pain.
Playgrounds are a child’s favorite place during the school year—so check that they meet current safety standards. There should be 9-12 inches of impact-absorbing material, such as mulch or rubber mats, on the play area, and adults should not let children play on surfaces that are burning to the touch.