School breaks give kids and caregivers much-needed refueling time, with relaxed schedules and more play time.  Children may get the impression that rules also have been relaxed, an assumption that can lead to dangerous situations or even accidents during these breaks. Child safety is just as important during these breaks as when school is in session. Their children may spend these breaks with childcare providers or babysitters, or even at home with older siblings for short periods of time for parents who work full-time. How can we arm our kids to help them stay safe during these breaks from school? In case is possible, leave two emergency phone contacts, including that of an at-home neighbor. Tell your child who they are and show them where the information is posted. Even the youngest child should know when and how to dial 9-1-1. Most emergency operators are experienced in dealing with young children and can comfort and reassure a young caller while help is on the way. Provide specific activities that can keep them safely busy while you are gone. A game, puzzle, an art project, or a scavenger hunt can provide hours of fun and keep little hands busy.

Tips for saving students during break

Let your child or his sitter know want play to be restricted to inside or comfortable with outdoor play while you are gone in case you are. Make that clear to your child and the sitter in case you have a no-friend-over rule while you are gone. You are the best judge of whether your child is old enough to handle the company of a friend without your direct supervision. Put away all matches and candles and any other objects that curious minds might want to explore before you leave. Find out all you can about the outing, where they are going, how they will get there, who will be with them, what they'll be doing and when they will be back. Instruct your child NEVER to leave her buddy or the group, even when making a trip to the bathroom. It has been proven that there is safety in numbers. Put your name and phone number in your child's pocket so that in case of an emergency he has the information. Ask your provider if they will give children a special meeting place in case they are separated from the group so you can reinforce those instructions. Otherwise, tell your child to sit down and wait for a policeman, someone else in uniform or his provider. He will be found more quickly if he remains in one place. Suggest that the children on the field trip all wear the same color shirts so that anyone separated from the group is easier to spot. Asking your child questions like, "What did you like best about today?" paves the way for conversation about his likes and dislikes while under the provider's care, and can give you a clear picture of your child's day.