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Back To School Safety

In addition to the normal fears of meeting new classmates, finding new friends, and passing school, the entire family goes through an adjustment period as well. Family members have to adjust to a new time schedule, and they have to deal with additional expenses, and the security and safety of family members.

When parents talk about school safety, they usually refer to protecting their children from the violent incidents that may take place in school. Although research shows that most children aged 9-14 often get injured through school-related accidents and not through violence in schools, parents may still be apprehensive.

They may be apprehensive since they are entrusting their children’s safety and security to school personnel. Aside from that, child abductions are something to be aware of and sexual predators may target the school and surrounding areas. School personnel cannot be held accountable if the children are not within the school grounds.

Below are some safety tips to help parents and their children make going back to school a safe experience:

Going to and from school

1) Know your children’s route to and from school

Since most crimes and accidents happen between the school and home, parents should take note of the route their child takes going to and from school. Parents should also make sure that their child walks with a friend at all times.

Parents must also remind their teenagers who drive to school to follow a single route to and from school at all times. This way, it will easier to track them during an emergency.

A list of people jailed for sexual assault is available in all local police stations, and parents must take the time out to check the list and see if the children pass by the house of released convict on the way to school.

2) Encourage responsibility

Discourage your children from playing their video games or listening to their mp3 player on their way to school because this will make them unaware of their surroundings. Make sure that your child looks out for cars while crossing the street and does not engage in conversation with strangers.

3) Make sure your child enters the building

If you are driving your child to school, make sure that he gets inside the building safely before you leave. Accidents happen in parking lots too, so make sure your child is with the teacher or his classmates.

When dropping your child off at school parents should always be careful when driving near schools and busy streets, and be sure to pay close attention to the children and pedestrians around you.

4) Advocate safety in your child’s school

If you feel that the school needs to change some of its regulations, gather a group of parents and petition that they be changed. Most school administrations listen to parents when they demand changes due to the liability factor when caring for their children.

At Home

Another concern for parents are the times that children may have to spend time unattended at home. Below are some tips to ensure your children’s safety:

1) Keep doors shut

Most of the time, parents tell their children not to let strangers in to the house. This may confuse the child because the word ‘stranger’ evokes a scary image. Most of the time, people who knock on the door do not appear to be scary, and so there is a chance that the person will be let in.

“Keep all doors shut” is a good rule, instead of the usual “don’t let a stranger in.” Parents can instruct their children to communicate with other people, whether stranger or not, through the door, until they get home from work.

2) Set a curfew

Another thing that a parent can do is to instruct the child to call once they get home. This way, a parent will be assured of the child’s safety. Parents must set a time for the child to call. If the child does not call within a specified time, give or take 20 minutes, then the parent can start to look for the child. Parents can also enlist the help of a neighbor to make sure that the child is home safe.