7 Back-to-School Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know
Joey Melvin – Director of Center for Safe Schools
As we prepare for another school year, ensuring children’s safety and well-being is a top priority. Whether your child is heading to kindergarten or high school, creating a safe environment for their learning journey is crucial. Here are some essential safety tips for parents to remember as the schools welcome back students.
- Open Communication: Maintaining open lines of communication with your child is essential. Encourage them to share concerns about safety, interactions with peers, or unusual incidents. Awareness of their feelings will help you address issues promptly and offer guidance.
- Safe Routes: If your child walks or bikes to school, help them plan safe routes that minimize exposure to busy roads and dangerous intersections. Practice the route together until they are comfortable navigating it independently. Remind them to wait in well-lit areas, cross streets at designated crosswalks, and avoid distractions like headphones while walking near traffic. (www.saferoutesinfo.org)
- Personal Safety: Review personal safety with your child, regardless of age. Use caution using the popular term “Stranger Danger” as statistically, most child abductions are committed by a known offender to the victim. Provide your child with a list of trusted adults they can contact in an emergency.
- Internet Safety: For children with access to the internet, educate them about online safety. Teach them to protect their personal information, avoid sharing sensitive data, and recognize potential online threats. Consider installing parental control software if necessary. (dfinow.org)
- Emergency Contacts: Make sure your child knows their full name, your contact information, and emergency contact details. Encourage them to memorize these details in the event they need help and cannot access their phone.
- Bullying Awareness: Discuss bullying with your child and emphasize the importance of treating others with kindness and respect. Encourage them to report bullying incidents to a trusted adult, whether the victim or a witness. (https://www.centerforsafeschools.org/bullying-prevention/ )
- Emergency Preparedness: The beginning of the school year will likely include a review of emergency procedures at your child’s school. Engaging in a conversation with your child about emergency preparedness is vital in ensuring their safety. Discussing scenarios, creating a plan, and emphasizing the importance of staying calm empowers them to respond effectively in unexpected situations.
As your child embarks on another school year, prioritizing their safety is paramount. These back-to-school safety tips can help ensure your child has a safe and enriching learning experience. Remember that a combination of communication, education, and preparation goes a long way in creating a secure environment for your child to thrive.
On behalf of the Center for Safe Schools, we wish everyone a safe school year.