August 25, 2005

Back to School Safety Tips

These back-to-school safety tips were distributed by the police department.

There are many things that we already know, but a quick refresher is always helpful!

Getting There:
  • Map out with your children a safe way for them to walk to school or to the bus stop. Avoid busy roads and intersections. Do a trial run with them to point out places they should avoid along the way, such as vacant lots, construction areas, and parks where there aren't many people.
  • Teach children to follow traffic signals and rules when walking or biking. Stress that they should cross the street at crosswalks or intersections with crossing guards when they can.- Encourage children to walk to school or the bus stop with a sibling or friend, and to wait at bus stops with other children.
  • Teach children not to talk to strangers, go anywhere with them, or accept gifts from them without your permission. Tell them that if they see a suspicious stranger hanging around r in their school they should tell an adult.
  • Help children memorize their phone number and full address, including area code and zip code. Write down other important phone numbers such as your work and cell phone on a card for your children to carry with them.

After School

Do your children stay home alone for a few hours after school while you are at work? You can still look out for them and help keep them safe:

  • Have your children check in with you or another adult as soon as they get home from school.
  • Help your children practice locking and unlocking doors and windows.
  • Role-play different situations that might come up when children are home alone. For example, what should your children do if a stranger knocks on the door, if the phone rings, or if there's an emergency?
  • Tell your children what you expect them to do when home alone. Should they finish their homework before watching TV? Are they allowed to fix a snack, or use the stove? What about inviting friends over?
  • Find a safe house in your neighborhood that your children can go to if they need help right away. If you are home during the day, think of starting your own safe house for neighborhood children.