You’ve bought your kids new notebooks, backpacks, lunchboxes and much more – but have you given them the safety advice they need to enjoy school safely? Here are 9 quick tips you can tell your children for back to school:
1. Be present.
Your child should know to look both ways before they cross the street and to be left when walking to the bus stop. They should not play with their Game Boy, cell phone or any other distractions until they are in a safe place.
2. Never talk to strangers.
Even if they are clean and dressed well! Even nice-looking people can have bad intentions. Teach our children to ignore strangers and call for help if someone continues to bother them.
3. Carry and know how to use a personal alarm.
It’s a good idea to hang a Personal Alarm with Key Ring on your child’s backpack strap. This way, their alarm is within reach if they feel unsafe and need to activate the device. Let your child know that the alarm is not a toy, it’s a safety device they can use to call for help.
4. Always keep mittens, a hat, and a scarf in your backpack during the winter months.
If a bus breaks down or your child gets lost, they’ll need a way to retain body heat. If they have necessary winter accessories on them, they’ll be much likelier to keep their body safe in an emergency.
5. Report it if anyone touches you inappropriately.
An adult that touches children inappropriately will often tell them that something bad will happen if the child tell their parents. They say this to scare them! Have a conversation with your child about inappropriate touching and what to do if this happens. Tell them to go to you or a teacher with information about something an adult did that made them feel uncomfortable. Grown-ups they can trust will help resolve the issue and help keep them safe.
6. Don’t go anywhere with an adult – even one you know – unless they use your family’s secret password.
Teach your children a special code word. Let them know what if an adult claiming they were asked to give the child a ride home doesn’t use that word, your child should not go anywhere with them (even if it’s an adult they know). You should also call the school in advance to let them know who (if not you) will be giving your child a ride home. That person should check in with the school when they arrive as well.
7. Look after your siblings.
Older siblings gain responsibility and family pride when they watch after their younger siblings. This keeps the little ones safe, too!
8. Seek someone out if you need help; don’t let a stranger approach you.
Have a discussion with your child about strangers. If a stranger approaches them offering help, this stranger is much less likely to be a Good Samaritan than someone your child seeks out themselves. It’s better to approach police officers, security guards, teachers, or women with children if possible. Nothing’s a guarantee, but this will reduce their risk of something dangerous or bad happening.
9. Know your address and phone number.
Make sure your children have this vital information memorized. Once they find an adult they can trust, they’ll need to provide this information to help them get home safely. They must know your address and phone to help teachers, police officers or other adults to return them to you.
Any other advice for children heads off to school this fall? Comment below!