With the busyness of back-to-school upon us, these two Seattle organizations have offered some helpful safety tips for parents. These ideas can help keep children away from toxins in their school lunches and also develop safe walking routines for school.
The Washington Toxins Coalition offers these tips for packing healthy school lunches:
1. Avoid vinyl (PVC) lunch boxes, which may contain lead and/or phthalates.
2. For stand-alone airtight food containers, choose stainless steel, tempered glass, bamboo or BPA-free plastic.
3. Choose organic fruits and vegetables to limit your child's exposure to pesticides. Use the Environmental Working Group's "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides," at www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php, to learn which produce is the most important to buy organic.
4. For ideas on eco-friendly lunchboxes, reusable bags and drinking containers, visit the Washington Toxins Coalition's Web site atwww.watoxics.org (check the Aug. 5 blog post).
The staff at P.E.A.C.E. of Mind (Parent Education and Child Empowerment) offer the following tips for children who walk to school:
1. Practice walking your child's school route with them (don't take short cuts).
2. Identify homes or businesses that your child can go to if they need assistance.
3. Review the 10 family safety rules, at www.pomwa.org/10familysafetyrules.aspx, with your child.
4. Talk about who will pick them up from school, and let your child participate in who is on the "safe list" for pick-up.
5. Remind your kids to never accept a ride from anyone (even if they know them) without checking in with you or another safe adult first.