From the Scholastic Bookshelf: Resources to Spark Important Conversations About Safety

From “stranger danger” to texting-while-walking, talking safety with your kids is essential at every age.

Oct 26, 2021
From the Scholastic Bookshelf: Resources to Spark Important Conversations About Safety

Oct 26, 2021

A new school year brings with it new textbooks, new bookbags, and a number of new faces and places. Whether your child is in kindergarten or middle school, you’re still bound to have those sit-down conversations about staying alert when they’re out of your sight.

While it’s online safety that makes many headlines these days, physical safety — knowing when to cross the road or the right time and place to take a selfie — is also an everyday reality. We know you’ll be reviewing the routes closest to home with your family, but want to help get the conversation about childhood safety started.

For its 100th anniversary, Scholastic spoke with safety experts to identify a set of tips, articles, and books that make starting a conversation with your child about safety easier. These resources are part of a broader initiative, called the Scholastic Bookshelf, created for Instagram to raise awareness around contemporary issues affecting children today.

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For children in kindergarten or beginning elementary school:

Just yesterday they were learning to walk. And now they’re on the move with their peers, without you. Prepare your child for those encounters outside of drop-off and pick-up with How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe?, Jane Yolen’s funny take on basic childhood safety practices. Kids will love Mark Teague’s illustrations of dinosaurs carefully navigating their human-sized surroundings, while you can seize the moment to discuss how these scenarios apply to your child’s day. Bring home lots of laughs during read-aloud time with this book, which handles serious issues with humor. 

For children in or approaching middle school:

For older children who know best (wink), it can be tricky driving home messages of caution. But pre-teens face their own safety challenges, in and out of school, and it’s important for every family to address them early. Extreme Selfies and Would You Ban Texting and Walking? are two articles from Scholastic Action magazine that you can read with your child — or direct them to for independent reading — that tackle timely concerns surrounding children and their use of smartphones in hazardous situations. Activities at the end of each article gauge your child’s memory and comprehension skills. 

Another resource for broaching safety discussions with your child is YouTube Made Me Do It, an article from Scholastic Scope magazine. Readers are invited into a debate over whether dangerous stunts and “challenges” posted to YouTube, which often have injurious or even fatal results when replicated in real life by young adults, is a form of negligence shown by the social media sites that host them. It’s a contemporary twist on a question you’ll be familiar with from your own childhood: Does the media encourage — and reward — dangerous behavior? 

It’s a great starting point for sharing your outlook on your child’s personal safety and understanding theirs. And by providing a safe space for free discussion, you’re encouraging them to articulate opinions behind the actions they’re taking to stay safe and feel safe.

Visit the Scholastic Bookshelf for resources on safety and other must-discuss topics.

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