MRTSA: Have A Healthy School Year

It’s back-to-school season! We are sure many of you are busy with buying school supplies, signing permission sheets and making that trip to Costco to stock up on lunch supplies. But, are you and your child prepared for an emergency? Though stuffy noses, cuts and scrapes are inevitable, and MRTSA wanted to share proper safety precautions to make this school year a healthy one.

As an EMS service, we have two categories of emergency calls: medical and trauma. We have tips to help you avoid both type of emergencies.

Let’s start with trauma:

Tip 1: Walking/Biking

Mt. Lebanon is a renowned walking community, which is great for promoting a healthy habit of exercise. But, make sure you’re taking the proper precautions. If you and/or your child walks or bikes to school, make sure to choose a safe route prior to the first day of school, that way you can get a few practice runs in. The ideal route will have few intersections, light traffic and minimal distractions. Keep in mind, fastest does not necessarily mean the safest! Oh, and make sure to wear a helmet if you are biking. That’s a non-negotiable!

Tip 2: Driving

As a high schooler, driving to school may almost feel like of rite of passage. It can also be terrifying for a parent. First things first (and probably the most obvious), make sure they have a valid driver’s license. With that, also make sure that you review PA’s graduated driver’s license (GDL) laws with your child. Go over your expectations with them: number of passengers allowed, driving curfew, can they drive on a highway. And, of course: wear your seatbelt, don’t drink and drive and don’t text and drive

Now, moving on to medical:

Tip 1: Prevention

As we always say, prevention is the best medicine. Before the new school year, set up an appointment with their pediatrician for an annual check-up.

Practice good hygiene with good hand washing techniques and not touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This is one of the best ways to prevent the spread and contraction of many respiratory viruses. Consider packing tissues and hand sanitizer. And if your child appears sick, keep them home until all their symptoms are gone so that their classmates stay safe.

Tip 2: Preparation

Emergencies are scary but being prepared for one is as important as preventing one from happening. If your child has a severe allergy, make sure the child and school nurse carry their prescribed EpiPen with them daily—and don’t forget to check its expiration date! If your child has a serious health condition that requires regular prescription medication or possible emergency care (such as epilepsy, diabetes, cardiac conditions or adrenal insufficiency), contact their pediatrician to develop a care plan that can be shared with the school nurse and local EMS agency (MRTSA). You can even get them medical ID jewelry customized for each specific condition.

We know this was a lot to remember, but keep this post in mind while going through your back-to-school checklist. It’s important that we keep our children safe and healthy for this school year.