Early Education     K-12    

10 back-to-school safety tips

Make sure your child stays safe this school year

Summer is nearly over and it is time to think about teaching children how to be safe while in school. Whether your child is starting kindergarten or going into high school, there are many safety precautions that need to be taken. "Kids are much more vulnerable these days, and parent and teachers need to take precautions at all times," says noted security expert and chairman of NAPCO Security, Inc. Richard L. Soloway.

Soloway has compiled the following list of safety tips:

* Before school starts, teach little ones important information. Make sure children know where their school is, what their home address and phone number is, who their teacher and school officials are, what bus number they are assigned to and where the bus stop is.

* Show kids how to properly cross the street. Young children should always cross streets with a crossing guard, but parents need to teach them how to cross in case the guard is absent.

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* Wear bike helmets. If your child is biking to school, make sure they have a proper bike helmet on at all times while riding. Teach them to respect traffic lights and stop signs and to know all the rules of the road.

* Watch your child enter the school. As busy as parents are, take that extra minute to make sure your child enters the school building when you are dropping them off.

* Don't talk to strangers. Make sure your child does not talk to strangers, does not accept presents or rides, or to look at "puppies" in or near a stranger's car. Teach children to kick, yell and scream if someone grabs them.

* Have an in case of emergency person. Appoint a trustworthy person in your neighborhood that your child can go to in case of an emergency. Make sure your child knows who that is, has their contact information, address and phone number readily available.

* Teach alternate safe routes. For older kids walking home from school, make sure they know an alternate route home. This could help deter someone that may have followed them home.

* Create a buddy system. Teach kids to walk with a friend when walking to and from school. Know your child's route; if they take back roads or short cuts, make sure you know them.

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* Teach bus safety rules. Make sure children know where the bus stop is, and how to be safe while waiting for the bus. Kids should not horse around while waiting for the bus, and once it arrives board the bus in an orderly fashion. Children should remain seated with their seat belts on while riding the bus as well as know where all emergency exits on the bus are.

* Be safe after school. NAPCO's "Smart Home" Security System helps parents keep track of kid's comings and goings when they are at work or away. It spells the end of the "I'm home" phone call that kids so often forget to make: After they type in their personal access code to enter the house, the system automatically emails mom or dad at work or even to a pager, blackberry or cell phone to let them know their child has arrived home.

NAPCO Security Systems is a global leader in design and manufacturing of patented electronic and mechanical security systems whose products include intrusion alarms, fire alarms, electronic locking devices and access control systems (http://www.napcosecurity.com)