It’s that time of year again. Our kids are heading back to school for another year of learning. This time of year can be busy for parents that are focused on getting kids ready and the kids are ultra-excited to start a new grade and seeing friends back in school now that summer is over.
That’s why it is very important to take a few minutes to discuss basic safety with your children. Teaching them some dos and don’ts of safety will ensure you are sending them off with the ability to stay safe and enjoy the school year.
Before your kids ever learn a math or history lesson, the first lesson they should learn is safety. Here are some key tips that will help keep them safe throughout the entire school year.
Getting to School Safely
- Before the first day of school, you should plan your child’s route to school or the bus stop. After planning the shortest and safest route, walk with your child a few times until they feel comfortable and can tell you how to get back and forth.
- Make your child promise to only take this route back and forth from school. Alert them to never talk to or accept rides from strangers. Remind them to stay on course and avoid any parks, woods, fields or any other location that is remote.
- Insist that your child does not walk to school alone. Have them walk with neighbor kids, a brother, sister, or someone that can escort them. Depending on how far the bus stop is, you may also want to make sure your child has a walking buddy rather than walking alone.
- If your child rides a bike, scooter, skateboard or inline skates, make sure they wear a helmet and other safety gear like elbow and knee pads. Good shoes are also important for kids to safely cruise to school. Here is a great article about keeping kids safe while on their transportation toys. Remind your child that they need to obey all stop signs, lights and other traffic signs.
- If your child rides the bus, make sure they know the rules of getting on, riding and exiting the bus. Teach them to stay at least 5-10 feet away from the curb and never approach the bus until it reaches a complete stop and the driver says it is ok to enter.When riding the bus, always face forward, behave & buckle the seat-belt (if available). Do not stand up until the bus has come to a complete stop. When getting off the bus, teach your children to walk away from the buss and stay within view of the buss driver. Never walk in front of the bus for fear of being run over or struck by a passing motorist.
Staying Safe at school
- Make sure your child knows how to contact you in case of emergency. Have your child memorize their and your full name, your home address and phone number.
- Ask the school about their safety program for students and have your children learn the safety procedures put forth by the school. Make sure your kids know to go to a teacher or supervising adult if they are in danger or see anything bad happening.
- Give your child an emergency only, pre-programmed mobile phone. There are plenty of phones available that will only allow you to call a few pre-programmed numbers.
- Be attentive with your child. The best way to keep them safe at school is to be involved in the day to day activities of your child. Talk with them often about school and any troubles they may be facing. Pay attention to their habits. Changes in their behavior, eating and sleeping habits. There are often unspoken signs that parents can pick up on telling them something is not right.
After School Safety
Getting home pretty much follows the same safety guidelines and getting there, just in reverse. Make sure your kids know to go straight home after school. Always make them get your permission first if they are going to go or do anything else.
Many kids today are by themselves after school until a parent or parents can get home from work. One of the best ways to keep your children safe after school is with a home security system.
There are many systems that will text you the moment your child enters or exits the home. You can also install affordable surveillance cameras that would allow you to see what your children are doing in real-time via an app on your smartphone.
Doorbell cameras are also a nice feature to have when your children are home alone after school. If someone does come to the door, your children can see who is there before answering the door.
If you would like any more information about setting up a system in your home to help monitor and keep your children safe while you are not there, then contact us or give us a call at (512) 693-4003.