Back to school time is a season with its own rituals, traditions, and emotions. Most parents feel a mixture of joy and sadness as vacation ends and children return to the world of desks, books, and homework. While you cannot keep your eyes on your child at all times, you can make sure they are prepared for school by making sure to follow the five safety tips below.
Five Back To School Safety Tips
1. Make Sure Your Children Know Their Contact Information
This tip applies to children of all ages. Children should have memorized their full names, address, and at least one phone number for one parent. Parents mostly focus on helping young children learn these details, but even teens often do not have their parents’ cell phone numbers memorized. Just like adults, many teens rely on their phones for storing important information, including parents’ cell phone numbers.
Practice with your children to make sure they can recall important contact information without your help. Memorizing contact information doesn’t have to be difficult — such as making it into a song or acronym.
2. Know the neighborhood
The more familiar you are with your neighbors and your neighborhood, the safer your children are. If there are other families with children the same ages as your children, make an effort to meet them and introduce yourself and your children. Having more people in the neighborhood watching out for each other makes everyone safer.
The National Crime Prevention Council recommends having a neighbor your children can go to for a safe place if they are in danger and can’t get home.
3. Makes Sure Your Child Knows Who Can Pick Them Up
Part of getting the kids back in school is filling out emergency contact forms and designating whom you authorize to pick up your children. While this may be part of the routine for you, take the time to make sure your child knows who is allowed to pick them up from school or other activities.
Explain to your child that no matter what someone tells them, they are not to leave with someone who is not one of the two or three people you have give permission to pick them up.
4. No Names on the Outside of Clothing
Child predators often try and get the trust of their victims. One of the easiest ways to get the trust of a child is to call them by name. Do not have the name of your child on the outside of their clothing or backpacks where others can easily see it.
A predator may try and lure your child by calling them by their name and trying to convince your child that you sent them to pick them up.
5. Discuss Safety Rules for Traveling to and From School
Whether your children walk, bike, take the bus, carpool, or drive themselves, you need to go over the safety rules with each child for getting to school and back home.
Some important safety rules include:
- Do not run on or off the bus
- Obey the bus driver
- Always wear a helmet when on your bike
- Watch for cars
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Always wear seat belts
- Never use a phone while driving
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