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While you are reviewing all of the back to school rules with your child this fall, why not use this time to also talk about back-to-school safety? Reviewing what your child needs to know about staying safe this school year is just as important as the rules about not running in the halls and using inside voices! If you are unsure where to begin, take a look below at some helpful tips for teaching back-to-school safety tips to your kids. It really is quite easy, and there has never been a better time to review these safety tips than now.
Back to School Safety Tips for Kids
Talk about stranger danger.
With all of the children coming and going from the school grounds, it can be an invitation for those who would want to harm your child to make a move. Talk to your child about what to do if a stranger approaches, how to find help, and how to never get in a car with a stranger even if they are told a parent sent them.
Related: How to Save Money on Back-to-School
Pick a code word.
Pick a code word that your family can use in the case of an emergency. For example, if your word is ‘elephant', your child will know not to go with anyone who does not use the code word first. Use a unique word that your child won’t have trouble remembering.
Review safety numbers.
Review all of the numbers that your child can use in an emergency. This of course would be 911, a family member or close friend’s number, the fire department, your own cell phone number, and whatever other number you deem important. This is also a great time to review your own address should your child need to let emergency personnel know it.
Talk about bus/car safety.
Discuss how to stay safe around the school bus or cars. You can tell your child to always cross at a crosswalk, to never get in the blind spots of cars and busses, to not run or make sudden movements, and to just be aware of their overall surroundings. Encourage your child to cross with help from a crossing guard. The crossing guards are there to help children safely make it across different intersections.
Remind them to travel in pairs.
Whether walking home, playing outside or even just moving throughout the school building, it is always ideal to travel in pairs. Encourage your child to always travel with a buddy. Children are less likely to encounter dangerous situations when they stick together. You can talk to parents of other children in your child’s class to come up with a convenient buddy system that works for everyone.
Tell them not to walk too close to the road.
Even when walking on the pavement, it is much better for children to keep a bit of a distance between themselves and the curb that leads to the road. If a driver loses control of their vehicle and jumps the curb, your child could avoid getting hit by the oncoming vehicle by making sure they are not too close to the curb.
Make sure your child does not stand at the bus stop alone.
If your child takes the bus to school, make sure you can find someone who will stand with them until they get on the bus. If you are unable to do it because you have to work, you may want to ask a family member or close friend to supervise. Unfortunately, you never know who is lingering around that could potentially try to abduct your child. If you have an older child, you can make sure they are standing at the bus stop with friends instead of by themselves.
Have a way for your child to get in quick contact with you.
If you feel like your child is old enough, you can supply them with a cell phone to get in contact with you immediately. You can program your number on your child’s phone beforehand to make it easier for them to call you. If your child is not quite old enough for a functioning cell phone, there are still other options. There are kid-friendly smartwatches that allow children to call up to three people.
Plan your child’s route in advance
Have a route for your child to follow if they are walking home from school. You may want your child to avoid certain intersections and blocks. Talk to your child about the importance of following the route. You might also use this route to meet your child halfway when they are walking home from school.
When you encourage your child to keep safety in mind, you can rest assured that back-to-school time will be a safer one. Review these tips and you can all have some back-to-school peace of mind. What back-to-school safety tips for kids would you add to this list?