The beginning of the new school year is always exciting, but it can also be a little scary. As parents, we get nervous about our children going out on their own to school. Law enforcement officials urge parents, students and members of the community to do their part in keeping children safe as they go to school.
No cellphones in school zones
Police Officer Rich Peters said, “We have the no cellphones in school zones legislation now and urge drivers to take this law seriously. This legislation is in place to try and protect children on their way to and from school. The ultimate goal is for motorists to be as aware and undistracted in school zones as possible.” Since children are still establishing a routine for their school routes at the beginning of the school year, motorists need to pay attention to speed limits and their surroundings in school zones.
Parents need to review stranger-danger rules with their children. They should be taught to walk with a group of people, not by themselves. You should also teach them to stay in well-lit areas, avoiding shortcuts and stay on popular routes. Kids should be frequently reminded not to talk to strangers and keep away from strangers. Putting children’s names on the outside of their backpacks could be dangerous because strangers may use it to establish trust and familiarity with your child. Parents should ensure that the school has up-to-date contact and emergency information for parents and other adults authorized to pick up the child.
Other safety rules
When both parents are working, there’s a tendency for their child to go home to an empty house and spend several hours unsupervised. Children should be taught to go to a neighbor or nearby trusted adult if they have a problem. They should also to this if they find a door ajar or unlocked or notice a broken window when they come home from school. Remind them not to answer the door when no adults are home and they weren't expecting anyone to come over to their house. It’s always a good idea for children who are unsupervised to have a cellphone ready in case of emergency. By preparing your children for emergencies, they will be ready if they ever encounter one of these situations.