It’s time for students to go back to school. As the Labor Day holiday approaches, and the back to school sales resonate in every clothing store and office supply shop; the last thing on your child’s mind is safety. That’s your job. Let’s face it, the safety of our children is of paramount important to every parent, so here are just a few back to school safety tips for you to discuss with your child.
- Don’t talk to strangers. It may be cliche, but make sure your child knows not to talk to strange adults outside of school, let alone get into a vehicle with them. Have your child get in contact with you before getting into the car with someone, even if they are a friend or relative.
- Keys. If your child carries a key to your home, it should be easily accessible to them, but not to others. A key on a lanyard necklace works well. Or you can put the key in an inner pocket of their backpack. You want the key to be easily grabbed by your child in an emergency while going home, such as in a rain storm or if they are being followed, while not giving a potential thief access to your home. Never put your address on or near your child’s key.
- Street safety. Make sure your child knows to look both ways when crossing the street, and to obey the rules of the road, whether, walking, biking, or driving. If your child rides a bike to school, make sure they wear a helmet.
- Plan for emergency. Make a plan with your child in case of a disaster or if phone communication is down, including where to meet, and other relatives they could contact. Find a safe second location if you can not get to your home.
- Stay In Touch: If your child has a cellphone, make sure they keep it charged. They should keep it off while in school, but left on while traveling or when out with friends after school. Or consider obtaining a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) for your child. Similar to the ones used to get help for seniors, a PERS is a small cellphone like device with GPS capability that can be activated quickly to summon help in case of an emergency. Monitored 24/7, operators can speak with your child and with authorities, to get your child the help they need during an emergency; including police and medical emergency responders.