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Personal Safety

Kids and parents both experience a range of emotions when back-to-school season rolls around. As parents, it's natural to mourn the passing of another year in your child's life while also being eager send them back to school after a long, busy summer at home, but parents can only feel good about their kids in school if they feel confident that their kids are safe. Dangerous elements are everywhere, and in this day and age, parents can never be too careful.

As you prepare to send your kids back to school, make sure you've taken these five steps to keep your children out of harm's way.

  1. Have a specific route to and from school

Teach your children to follow a primary route to and from school, whether they're traveling by bus, car, or walking home with friends. Knowing this route is important so you always know where they should be on their way to and from school.

Most parents also find that it's useful to set an alternate travel path as a backup. This route can be used when primary ways home are blocked by construction or accidents, or when your child identifies another hazard that makes the primary route home unsafe.

  1. Be sure your child travels with friends whenever possible

Whether loitering outside school or walking home, encourage your children always to have someone by their side. Research has noted that pedestrian injury rates among children have actually increased by recent years, so it helps to have as many eyes as possible looking for traffic and other potential hazards.1 Plus, a group of children is much less likely to be targeted by predators than individual children walking alone.

"As an adult, I know the safety of staying with a group,” says Charly Morgan, on-air personality on B98.5 and spokesperson for Ackerman Security. “It’s even more important for kids’ safety. Groups of children are also much less likely to be targeted by predators than individual children walking alone," "Always encourage kids to practice the buddy system, ideally with other kids who live in their neighborhood."

  1. Know the school's emergency procedures

Whether it's tornadoes, fire drills, school lockdowns or other emergency scenarios, parents need to know exactly what will happen to their children. Knowing these school procedures will help you respond faster and connect with your children sooner during an emergency situation. Or, if you're unable to reach your child, you can at least know that the school and students have protocols in place to keep them as safe as possible.

Make sure that your child also understands these emergency procedures at school.

  1. Install a home security system

If you're still at work when your children return home from school, a security system is the best way to keep them safe and sound while you're away. Kids can use these systems to enter securely and be protected while you are away and if anyone attempts to enter the home.

"Some of these systems also let parents track the comings and goings of their children so that they know when they get home every day," says Charly Morgan, on-air personality on B98.5 and spokesperson for Ackerman Security. "I know I’ll be using my security system when my daughter is older. Other parents I know say their security system gives them the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing their home is secured and their children are safe."

  1. Talk to your children about what to do if they feel afraid or unsure in any situation

Unfortunately, parents can't be watching over their children at all times. But what they can do to help protect their kids is teach them to handle alarming situations. Whether it's the lurking presence of a stranger following them home, unsafe teen drivers or bullies trying to give them trouble, your kids need to be prepared. Talk to your kids about what to do and where to find help. Strategies such as calling for help on their cellphone, staying at school and waiting for a ride home or asking for help from a trusted teacher or adult, can help your child avoid dangerous situations.

For parents concerned about the safety of their children, a little preparation goes a long way. Talk to your kids about the potential dangers waiting in the world, and work with them to ensure they have a safe, trouble-free experience going to school.

 

Sponsored by Ackerman Security

Sources:

  1. https://www.safekids.org/walkingsafely

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