A Parent's Checklist

With so many details to coordinate during a move, its easy to get sidetracked from issues affecting your child. Yet surveys show that for many children, moving is one of their most stressful experiences. And for parents, there are new health and safety issues to consider:

Emotional Needs

  • Try these tips to help your child adjust to the move:
  • Talk periodically with your child about any feelings, questions or concerns he or she may have about the move.
  • Create a scrapbook with memorabilia, addresses and photos of old friends to help your child say good-bye.
  • Put together a box of your childs prized possessions that can be opened immediately upon arrival at your new home.
  • Ask your child to help pack and unpack any personal belongings to provide a sense of control over the situation.
  • Be sure to load your childs toy box last so it will be the first item off the truck.
  • Help your child feel involved in the move by assigning a moving task, such as helping move the family pet and its belongings.
  • Take family walks around your new neighborhood to become acquainted with the area.
  • Take your child on a trip to the schools, playground and recreational centers near your new home.
  • Look for clues that indicate problems adjusting., such as sleeping difficulties, frustration, unreasonable fears or reluctance to leave the house. If these behaviors persist, seek the advice of your pediatrician.

Health and Safety Needs

  • To help plan for your childs health care needs in your new area, consider the following:
  • Get directions to a nearby urgent care center or emergency room in case your child gets sick or hurt after-hours or before youve found a new pediatrician. 
  • Look for your childs new pediatrician as soon as possible the best time to find a new physician is now, before you need one.
  • Transfer all of your childs medical records to your new pediatrician as soon as possible.
  • Dont forget about back-to-school checkups and pre-participation sports physicals.
  • Keep your childs medical history in your purse or briefcase where it can be accessed quickly in an emergency.
  • Childproof your new home to avoid preventable injuries. 
  • Create a fire escape plan for your new home. Install smoke detectors on every floor and replace the batteries every six months (spring & fall).
  • If there is a pool nearby, make sure it has a fence that is kept locked when no one is there.
  • Check to see that local playgrounds are safe for your child.
  • Make sure your yard is a safe place for your child to play.
  • Familiarize yourself with Georgias seat belt laws and car safety practices.
  • If you are moving from out of state, prepare your child for any changes in weather patterns, be especially aware of heat exhaustion, lightning and tornadoes.

With proper planning and teamwork, a move can be an exciting and positive experience for the entire family!

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