Tuesday 25 September, 2018

CAC urges parents to focus on schoolchildren’s wellbeing and safety

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), is urging parents/guardians to make their children’s physical wellbeing and general safety, part of their back-to-school preparations.

The new school year gets under way next week.

Communications Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell, said there are a number of things that parents can do to ensure that their children have a successful 2018-2019 school year.

“While you are preparing children for school, get also into their minds and get them prepared for all the things they will be confronting when they are out there,” she said.

She recommended that children be trained in the proper use of the roads, especially those who will be taking public transportation. Campbell said this was of particular importance due to the extensive roadworks now taking place across the island.

She said it was important that parents take note of advisories about traffic changes, so as to direct children on the correct routes to follow when travelling to and from school on public transportation.

“Children should be shown their routes. For those taking public transportation, they might be entering strange environments because the traffic is diverted. It is important that parents take that into consideration, especially for the little ones, when they are sending them out for the day,” Campbell said.

“The journey might take longer, or they may be taken into environments that are strange to them. They might panic and end up in the wrong places, so parents need to pay attention and familiarise themselves with alternative routes, and teach children these, so they can adjust to traffic changes,” she added.

And Campbell said parents should also prepare children for any possible inclement weather.

“We are in the middle of the hurricane season, so you may have to add a raincoat or an umbrella for the older children to the list of items you are buying. Remember to advise them on how to use the roadways in the event there is a heavy downpour or any other adverse weather event. Teach them what routes to take and where they should go,” she recommended.

Meanwhile, the CAC representative is reminding parents to be mindful of the physical wellbeing of their children in their back-to-school preparations.

“Ensure they have something substantial to eat. It can be a nutritious meal or sandwich from home that you can package for them. Also, it is extremely hot, so advise them to rehydrate - drink lots of water instead of sugary drinks - and ensure that you pack enough water in their coolers so they can rehydrate,” Campbell advised.

She also encouraged parents to pack fruits instead of salty and sugary snacks, which can make children lethargic and sleepy in the classroom.

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