With August being back to school month, that means it is also an excellent time for you to go over safety tips with your youth. With the business of back to school shopping, planning after school care/transportation, and creating meal plans – sometimes it can be easy to overlook the things that seem natural; like safety tips. It is always a good idea to go over a safety plan with the children you care for as they start back at school.
Walking or Biking – If your student is walking or biking to school, be sure to go over the best navigation to get there. Go on the walk or bike ride with them before their first day, so that you are familiar with the path they will take as well. Find places that have minimal traffic and always find sidewalks for your student to take. Teach your child what a crosswalk area is and where it is not a safe place to cross.
Driving – If you are the caregiver of a teen who can now drive, go over safe driving tips with them. There can be lots of traffic in the mornings as people travel to school and work, so teaching your teen the importance of school zone speeds and how to drive in traffic is essential. There are also numerous apps, like Driving by Life360, that may be beneficial to have so that you can ensure your teen is safe.
Fire escape plans – One of the first things that are established at the beginning of the school year is a fire safety plan, but are you doing the same within your home? Create a fire safety plan with your kids and discuss the best escape route and what to do in case of an emergency.
Stranger Danger (In-person or Online) – It may seem obvious, but you can never stress enough the importance of educating your child on the dangers of talking to strangers. If you plan on having your child picked up from school by a friend or family member, be sure to communicate that with them. Go over a safe code word with your child so that they know if that person was sent by you to pick them up. Various online apps create many dangers for children. With your kids starting back to school, their peers may introduce them to new apps to download, which is why you must be aware of apps like: Tagged, TikTok, Snapchat, and many more.
Although it may seem small, by reiterating these safety tips with your children, it could prevent a crisis from happening. We always encourage parents to create an open line of communication within their family so that the youth know boundaries and can keep themselves safe.
If you or someone you know needs help or additional resources, please contact us at 618-688-4727.