When’s the last time you heard a news story about an incident in a school that made you a little concerned about your kid’s safety? How about yesterday? With a 12 year old retrieving a shotgun from a band instrument case and injuring 2 students.
It doesn’t take much searching to find multiple school stories where violence, or potential violence makes the news. What if you live in a small community? Does that mean you’re safer? Absolutely not, things can happen in our schools no matter where you live or the size of your school district.
Everyday Carry (EDC) School Emergency Kit
I’ve seen a lot of School emergency kits posted in the past. Many of them include knives, paracord, fire-starting implements… basically everything they need to get expelled from school.
Guys and Gals… this isn’t the kids’ version of Man vs. Wild. The chances of your young one ever needing any of these things is next to nothing and the chances that your child will be caught with these items and face disciplinary action is extremely high.
Be smart about what you’re sending with them to school. Always keep in mind Risk vs. Reward.
Before putting together your child’s EDC school emergency kit, take the time to send an email or make a phone call to their school. Explain to them that you are simply a concerned parent who would like their child to be more prepared for emergencies and that you’re putting together an emergency kit that will be in your child’s possession every day, will rarely (if ever) be used and that you just want to make sure there will be no problems.
Include all the items you believe your child should have every day and ask what the official policy is on these items. Many schools have banned any sort of bladed instrument, any sort of medications (even over the counter) and some even believe that your child shouldn’t have a way to contact his or her parents in the case of an emergency and have banned cell phones completely.
Regarding cell phones in school – A lot of schools have banned cell phones altogether. I adamantly oppose this policy. Cell phones are a link to your child when you aren’t there. I won’t publically suggest that anyone break school policies, but cell phones can be turned off and there shouldn’t be any reason for anyone to know your child has a cell phone in their backpack unless it is an emergency.
In a nutshell…when my kids are old enough to have a cell phone, they’re going to have a cell phone, school policy be damned. However this choice is obviously completely up to you.
What to Include In your Child’s EDC School Emergency Kit
- Various sized Band aids (including finger bandages)
- Gauze and tape
- Burn cream
- Children’s pain meds / fever reducer
- Children’s allergy medication
- Disinfectant wipes
- Water bottle
- Trail mix
- Change of clothes
- Cell phone & charger
- Medical information card – Include any known allergies, blood type and any important medical history.
- ID card with parents full contact information as well as contact information for at least 3 other trusted parties
- Photographs of child, parents, and any other parties listed in the ID card
Tips for the prepared parent
Take time to visit with your school’s principle and discuss all possible emergency contingency plans. If you are unsatisfied with the answers you receive, escalate the situation to the school’s superintendent. Even if you have to involve the media to get this information, you deserve to know the school’s procedures for keeping your child out of harm’s way in an emergency.
Talk to your children about how to respond to various school emergencies. Drill them on the exits in their class, what to do in the case of a fire or other weather emergencies. Make them as ready as possible to respond responsibly to various threats that they could encounter.
Teach your children to respect their teachers and administrators, but be sure to teach them that ultimately they need to do whatever it takes to stay safe in a disaster scenario, whether they are following the rules or not.
Even if you are uncomfortable with your child having a cell phone, be sure that they know how to use one and know all important contact numbers by heart.
Teach your children to pay very close attention to and listen to law enforcement and first responders. Teach them to use their EDC ID cards to help responders reconnect them to you as soon as possible. – read more at Ready4ItAll.org