Back to School Safety


Going to and from school, interacting with a bunch of friends, and just being away from the watchful eye of parents can lead to risks and dangers. The following is a list of tips to help ensure your child’s back to school safety:

1. Have a friend. Kids should not go to and from school, or venture around the school without a friend. Employing the buddy system can help them avoid bullies, people seeking to do harm, and more. For example, someone looking to abduct a child is more likely to target a solo child then one in a group.

2. Know times, schedules, bus routes, etc. In order to keep your child safe, and be able to respond quickly if they do not return home when they should, make sure you take the time to familiarize yourself with bus schedules, school end times, routes they take to get to and from school, etc. then set a time with your child that they will make sure they are home by, this way if they are not, you can look for them. Make sure they tell you exactly what route they will be taking to and from school, etc. The more information you have, the safer your child will be.

3. Have plans. Sit down with your child before school starts and make a plan for the various scenarios they might face during the year. Let them know who will pick them up if there is ever an emergency. Make sure they have your phone number and an emergency contact’s phone number memorized. Set a meeting place if there is a problem like an earthquake, etc.

4. Emergency cell phones. Give your child a calling card or an emergency cell phone to make contact them, and them being able to contact you easier.

5. Talk to kids about crossing streets. Some of the biggest risks for back to school come from kids being distracted and doing stupid things like walking in front of a bus, or stepping into the street where there are lots of cars, etc. So, talk to them about this, and ingrain in them the rules for crossing streets.

6. Talk to kids about stranger danger. Your kids should know not to talk to strangers, accept rides from, or believe tales of sick or hurt parents, lost pets, offers of candy, etc. If your child is aware of stranger danger, they will be safer as a result.

7. Talk to kids about how to ride the bus. If the bus brakes suddenly, will your child be safe, or were they sitting backwards, standing, etc.? Talk to them about proper socialization on the bus, and getting seated quickly.

8. Talk to kids about dealing with bullies. Bullies can be a real problem for school aged kids, so help them understand why a bully bullies, what their options are, and that you expect them to always tell on the bully, regardless of the threats the bully makes. In addition, help them build esteem so bullies will be less of a problem for them.