Friday, August 30, 2013

Back-to-school preparedness tips

School’s back in session, so now’s a good time to brush up on ways to keep kids safe from disasters and other emergencies.

• Practice good hand hygiene: Teach your children to wash their hands after group activities and most importantly after using the restroom and before eating. The Get Ready campaign has great fact sheets about hand-washing that you and your kids can read together.

• Get a flu shot! Everyone ages 6 months and older should get a seasonal flu shot every year, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Remember to stay home when you are sick to prevent spreading flu. While you’re at it, make sure that your children are up to date on all of their other shots. Be sure you’re immunized, too, so you don’t pass along diseases to young children. Adults should especially be sure to stay immunized against pertussis, also known as whooping cough, as they can transmit it to infants.

• Prepare for an emergency: Disasters can happen suddenly, meaning there is a chance you can get separated from your child during an emergency. As parents, it’s a good idea to learn about the emergency preparedness plans at your children’s schools and get involved in the planning process. Make sure your child knows his or her address, your emergency meeting place, the full names of parents or guardians and important phone numbers.

• Make getting prepared fun: The Get Ready campaign has free games and puzzles kids can play to learn about preparedness, as well as fact sheets written at their level. Great for use in classrooms as well!

For more information, check out and share our Get Ready parent’s page.

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