As your kids head back to school, it’s a perfect time for safety checks and back-to-school crafts!


Safety Checks

While there are plenty of guidelines for dealing with COVID, here are a few additional steps to keep your kids from harm at school, at home and at play.


Bike Helmets

Since a growing number of children are riding bikes to school, make sure your kids always wear their helmets. All bike helmets manufactured or sold in the U.S. are required to meet federal safety standards. Helmet use can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent.



Textbooks, notebooks, lunch, toys … how much weight is your child toting back and forth each day? Kids shouldn’t carry more than 10 to 15 percent of their weight over their shoulders and on their backs. Help your child sort through everything before packing up and see what can be left home that day. Place heaviest items in first; the closer they are to a child’s back, the less strain they’ll put on those muscles.



Jacket and sweatshirt drawstrings may look trendy, but they can get caught on doorways, elevators and playground equipment. Remove drawstrings on hoods or around the neck of clothing. If drawstrings at the waist or bottom of an article of clothing look a tad long, trim them down to no longer than three inches.


Family Back-to-School craft

Commemorate your child’s first day of school with a special homemade picture frame. It makes a great gift for Grandparents’ Day too.



  • Craft Sticks
  • Yellow, white and black paint
  • Red buttons or craft jewels
  • Permanent marker
  • Hot glue gun
  • First day of school photo!



1) Select your favorite back-to-school photo.

2) Color your craft sticks with yellow, white and black craft paint.

3) Glue your sticks in the shape of a school bus (see photo).

4) Glue on craft jewels.

5) Write the school year or a special message.

6) Display proudly.


YMCA of Austin Fall Youth Sports is a great way to keep your kids active during the school year. Visit for details.

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