9 Back to School Safety Tips
For many children across the country, school is back in session. With the mad rush to gather the proper supplies, meet the new teachers and organize transportation, it can be easy to forget to review some basic safety tips with your children. Security is something that we all need to think about. Unfortunately, there are many potential dangers that children face going to and from school. Teaching them safety rules early and reinforcing them often will help your children be more aware of their surroundings and be better equipped to protect themselves when you are not around.
As a security company, Off Duty Officers cares about the safety of the people living in the communities we serve. When we are security-minded, we can all live in a safer and more peaceful society. Read these back to school safety tips and review them with your child as they begin the new school year.
9 Back to School Safety Tips
Tips for Staying Safe at Home
With parents often working during the day, there are many children who return to an empty house after school. Children of any age, even older middle school or high school students, need to understand certain safety rules when they are home on their own.
Understand your security system.
Do you have a security system in your home? Your children should be knowledgeable about how to activate and deactivate the system as well as how to use the alarm system to alert the authorities in case there is an intruder or other emergency. Remind your child of the importance of keeping the security code private. They should never share this with anyone without the permission of a parent.
Know who to contact in the event of an emergency.
If an emergency happens, you want your children to know exactly who to contact and where to find that information. Make sure you have a detailed and up-to-date emergency contact list that includes law enforcement, the fire department, trusted neighbors, family, friends and doctors. Keep this information in a safe and memorable location so your child always knows where to find it.
Do not open the door for any stranger.
When your child is home alone, all doors should be locked. If someone they do not recognize rings the doorbell, teach them to stay quiet and out of view of the door until the stranger leaves. Instruct them to call 911 right away if the stranger lingers around the property or attempts to get in your home. Tell them that it is okay to not answer the door when the doorbell rings, even if they know the person on the other side.
Tips for Staying Safe at School
We would all like to think that children are safe at school. However, we know that this is not always the case. It can be a scary thing to talk about with your child, but it’s important to discuss safety rules and prepare them for any kind of emergency that might occur in school.
Know your basic contact information.
The first thing your child should learn before they head off to school is their family’s contact information. If they get lost or if there is a school emergency, your child should be able to provide your home phone number, address and an emergency contact phone number. It is also smart to make sure that younger children are familiar with their neighborhoods and the streets that surround it.
Never go anywhere with a stranger.
Predators who may wish to do children harm can lure them into their vehicle using tactics such as a lost puppy, free candy or snacks or pretending to know their parents. Make sure your children know that they should never enter the vehicle of a stranger under any circumstances and no matter what the stranger says. If your child is approached by a stranger, teach them to scream and run away so as to draw attention to the situation.
Trust your instincts.
In general, children don’t have much control. They are always having adults tell them what they should do and should not do. However, it is really important to help your child to trust themselves and follow their gut. If something doesn’t feel right, teach them that it’s okay to say no to an adult or to other kids if they feel uncomfortable. You may even role play with your child so they know what language to use in these situations.
Tips for Staying Safe on the Road
Cross at the crosswalk.
During the school year, the roads are busy and drivers can easily be distracted. Drivers may not expect your child to cross in the middle of the street or in between cars. Teach your children how to be good pedestrians by modeling the proper behavior and walking the route to and from school with them so they know exactly where to cross and when.
Always have a buddy.
Make sure that your child does not walk, bike or wait at the bus stop on their own. Find a friend, neighbor or trusted family member who can walk with your child to ensure that they arrive safely at their destination. If an emergency were to occur, having another person with your child will increase the chances of getting the help they need quickly.
Travel a busy path.
While it might be tempting for your child to take a shortcut to school, make sure that they are on a path that is heavily traveled with clear sidewalks or trails. The route should be well-lit and should avoid areas that are unsafe, desolate or out of the way.
Communicating with your child about safety and setting boundaries and expectations for them will help give you peace of mind and prepare them for dangerous situations. Hopefully, these few tips can help you start a conversation with your child so you both can have a safe and successful school year.
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