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Back to School Ideal Time to Test Family's Safety IQ


The clothes fit, backpacks are filled, and lunches are packed. But, according to Underwriters Laboratories, parents may want to consider one more thing before sending their children back to school: safety.

"The reality is that accidents happen, so identifying and taking advantage of teachable moments can go a long way toward preventing accidents that are all too often avoidable," says John Drengenberg, director of Consumer Safety at Underwriters Laboratories. "The back-to-school time is the perfect opportunity to test your child's 'safety IQ' and provide opportunities to help them learn and practice safe behaviors at home, school and beyond."

UL provides parents the following safety tips to take advantage of the back-to-school time to reinforce safety with their children:

Get out and stay out. Make certain that your child knows that the first thing they should do in the event of a fire is to get out of the building. Reinforce fire safety by discussing the importance of learning and participating in fire escape drills at home and at school.

Go low and know. Physically lower yourself to your child's point of view and search each room for objects or situations that may endanger them. For example, teach them not to put their fingers or any objects in uncovered electrical outlets, or cover them with plastic outlet covers.

Play it safe. Talk to your child about the safe way to play on the playground equipment. Make sure your child knows to use both hands on swings, slide down the slide feet first and not to stand on the see-saw.

"With a few well-placed lessons and a little encouragement," Drengenberg says, "parents can go a long way toward not only preventing accidents, but demonstrating the importance of safe behavior that could last a lifetime."

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