Back-To-School Safety Tips…

August 24, 2010

Back-To-School Safety Tips…

It’s hard to believe but it’s true, we are in full swing of back-to-school.  So, let’s review some basic safety tips that adults and kids need to keep in mind at all times.

Locking Up The Home and Loading Up The Kids

Here’s an important back-to-school reminder: before you walk or load the kids up for the drive to the bus stop or school, lock your doors. Those few minutes that you are away from home can be the perfect morning stop for a burglar. It may seem overly cautious to lock windows and doors when leaving for such a short time period, but the time spent doing this can deter a burglar and prevent some major problems later.

Establish the habit of basic security when leaving the house in the morning. Parents or daycare providers could make the procedure a learning experience for the children. Many people have a morning checklist to make things simpler during that early morning rush hour. Why not add a security checklist to your morning routine? Depending on the age or ages of the children, let them help you get out of the house by giving them a task that relates to their security.

The Cop Doc, Richard Weinblatt suggested in an interview for back-to-school safety, every morning just prior to the kids leaving for school, snap a picture of your children with your cell phone camera or digital camera.  This is an awesome pro-active measure that everyone should get into the habit of.  Just this simple daily picture is an amazing lead for police, God forbid something should happen to your child at school, on the way home from school – even at the mall or event.  We all know how those little ones love to hide in the clothes racks.  A daily up-to-date picture.

Older children should check and lock the windows, while the younger ones can see if the doors are locked behind you when you leave.

When you are on the way to and from school, keep watch on what is going on in your neighborhood. Look for strangers who seem to be lurking on the sidewalk, with no real purpose. Watch for cars driving slowly through the neighborhood. They might be sizing up potential targets. If you are concerned, dial 911 as soon as you return home, or on your cell phone if you have one. Try to provide a basic description of the individual or car that worries you. It will help police if they have this information.

Do not think that burglars work only at night, in the dark. They are opportunists, and will look for likely targets at any time of the day. In fact, many burglars strike during daylight hours when they believe all the occupants of a house may be at school or work. Make their life harder by taking these basic crime prevention measures.

Educate Your Children About School Safety

Officers are routinely trained in child safety and missing children investigations. With the start of the new school year, they are sharing this information with parents.

Although the Police Departments educate our children in school on stranger danger, learning about community helpers, and several other child safety topics, parents can also help. The following tips are just a few suggestions:

  • Be aware of putting your child’s name on anything that is readily visible. This might allow an abductor to get on a “first name” basis with your child and develop a sense of trust.
  • Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out safe places to go if they are being followed or need help.
  • Talk to your children about strangers approaching them and some of the ploys they might use.  Stress to them that adults shouldn’t need a child’s help to find a puppy or get directions; they should ask another adult for that information.
  • Teach your children that it is okay to say NO – tell them to trust their instincts.
  • Remind your children to never give the impression they are home alone if strangers telephone or come to the door.  Never open the door for a stranger, and teach them about dialing 911.

Have a wonderful, safe new school year.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

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