Safety Tips for Back to School

As schools around the country begin to reopen for a new school year, it’s a good time for children and adults alike to think about basic safety. Here are a few examples of the more critical rules that should be discussed.

You should walk to and from school or the bus stop with your child to help familiarize them with the walk route. Be sure to point out the homes and/or businesses of safe grown ups along the way. Make sure they know which bus to ride. While waiting for the bus, take five giant steps back from the curb until the bus has stopped completely.

Children should use the buddy system. Children should always walk to and from school with a friend or stay with a group at the bus stop. There is safety in numbers.

Parents should make sure that their children know how to safely cross the street. Stay within the crosswalks, obey all traffic signals and signs, and obey the crossing guard. Look left, then right, then left again for moving cars before crossing. Don’t enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs; drivers might not be able to see you.

Teach children the safety rule “Say NO, GO and TELL.” If anyone approaches your child, offers them a ride or makes them feel uncomfortable, instruct them to say “no,” get away from the situation (“go”) and “tell” a trusted safe grown up. Teach your children that grownups should not ask children for directions, they should ask other adults.

Practice important phone numbers with your child and write them down in a safe place. Make sure your children know how to call and who to call in case of an emergency.

Have a family password. Teach your children that they can’t go anywhere with anyone (even a relative) without your permission unless the person coming for them knows the family password. Practice situations so that your children understand the circumstances in which a person who doesn’t know the password might be persuasive. Make sure your children have not told anyone the password.