Back to school season is around the corner, and so it’s a good time to review some school safety tips!
- Contact Information- Make sure that your children know how to get ahold of you in case there are any problems! Be sure they know your phone numbers (home, cell, and work) and home address. Teach them when and how to call 911. Provide them with an emergency contact number as well, such as a trusted neighbor or family member, in case they are unable to get ahold of you.
- School Route- No matter how your child gets to school, it’s always a good idea to review the route beforehand. Look for potential hazards that they may encounter- is there construction on part of the sidewalk they’ll be travelling? Tripping or falling hazards? If they walk or bike to school, make sure they understand traffic rules.
- Phone Safety- When your child is walking, teach them to follow this rule: heads up, phones down! Walking and texting, in particular, can lead to injury. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Computer Safety- Computers are a great tool for students- but they can also harbor risks to your children’s safety. Talk to your children about how strangers on the internet can be as equally dangerous as strangers on the street. Teach them to keep personal information private, not only passwords but any identifying information such as their last names, phone numbers, address, or where they go to school.
- Backpack and Personal Item Safety- Provide your child with a backpack lock, and make sure any devices they take to school have password protection. Make sure your children are aware that not everyone is honest- keep an eye on personal belongings and don’t leave them somewhere where someone will rummage through their belongings.
- Personal Safety- Unfortunately, even though your child may have a good sense of safety with the world around them, bullies and peer pressure can be unexpected psychological hazards that they may encounter at school. Talk to your children about bullying, and discuss coping methods that keep both your child and the potential bully safe. If being bullied, make sure your child understands that it’s ok to tell and adult and to keep calm in the situation. Get to know your child’s friends so you have some insight into the influence they may have over your children. Start talking to your kids at an early age about setting good personal boundaries, and that it’s ok to say “no”.
- After School Safety- Make an after school plan for your kids. Have them check in with an adult as soon as they come home; if they are going to be home alone, make sure there is a back-up plan in case they lose their house key. Have a strict plan in place for which friends (if any) are allowed when your kids are home alone. Make sure they know all emergency contact info.Wishing you and your kids a very safe and happy school year!