The beginning of the school year is probably a bit of a relief for you as a parent. While your kids take the summer off to roam freely with their friends, you’re stuck at work without much say in how they spend their time while you’re away. However, while school is in session, you can rest a little easier knowing that your children are in the hands of trained professionals who might actually be teaching them a thing or two.
Clearly, this is the preferred situation for you as a parent, but it’s also important to note that your children should be taking certain safety precautions during the school year as well. So what exactly should you be talking to your kids about this year? While this may vary depending on your child, their school, and/or your neighborhood, we’ve provided a few staple safety tips you can use to keep your kids safe during class breaks and before and after school. Check them out, then pick a time to sit down with your kids for a casual conversation regarding back to school safety.
- Travel Safely to School: Whether your child walks, bikes, carpools, or takes the bus to school, it’s important that they do so with caution. Reminding your child to travel with groups of friends when possible is important. You may also want to arrange for a responsible adult to walk with your child to school and/or the bus. Remind your child to stay on the sidewalk and look both ways, making sure all drivers have seen them and stopped, before crossing the street. Reiterating the importance of avoiding strangers and leaving with plenty of time to catch the bus and/or arrive at school on time is also a good idea.
- Play Safe: Schools are required to enlist the help of hall monitors and recess aids to ensure the safety of students during class breaks and lunch periods. While these individuals are there to watch over your child as they engage with other children, it will still be important for you to discuss the importance of playing safely.
Remind your child that playground rules are set to keep them safe. Make sure they’re mindful of age restrictions and proper uses for playground equipment. Further addressing the importance of taking turns on equipment such as slides and swings will also be necessary. Ultimately, making sure that they understand the value in being mindful of the rules set by their school is the most important thing here.
- Stop Bullying: Bullying is a growing problem in today’s schools. While organizations are working within educational institutions to eliminate the problem all together, it is ever present and increasing among children of all ages. This means it’s important to not only look for warning signs of your child being bullied, but also talk to your child about what bullying means and how it can affect others.Encourage open dialogue about bullying, and empower your children to stand up for themselves and/or others by reporting cases of bullying to school officials ASAP. One way you can check the effectiveness of your approach is to monitor your child’s social media behavior, try not to be overbearing, but look for hints of bullying either from them or others and address issues as necessary.
- Go Home First: Your child may be tempted to stop by a friend’s house or say hi to a neighbor before heading home, but requesting that they stop by the house first allows them to more easily check in with you and leave their belongings at the house before heading out. This also gives you the opportunity to find out where they’re going and how long they’ll be there before they leave. Ask your child to head straight home from school then call to check in before they make plans for the rest of the afternoon.
- Keep the House Safe: It’s easy to forget to lock a door or leave a window open after you’ve come home from a long day. Be sure that your kids understand the importance of locking doors and windows every time they return home from school. Ask them to check that they haven’t left keys in the door and have locked the necessary gates and windows. Provide emergency phone numbers and be sure to have a landline or cellphone available for them to call out. Another precautionary measure that will help you ensure your child’s safety is effective, at home monitoring.
The izon camera provides a quick, easy, and affordable solution for ensuring your child’s safety until you get home from work. Simply install an izon camera in the area(s) of choice throughout your home, then watch real-time video from izon’s free app. Not only will the app provide playbacks and audio, but it will also send push notifications triggered by sound and motion. In other words, mounting one above your main entry way will give you notifications when your child enters and leaves the home.
Now that you’ve got a few tips to share with your child, brainstorm to identify any other tips unique to your child and home environment. As mentioned earlier, keep your discussion casual, but also be sure that each point is conveyed clearly and comprehended. Checking in on a regular basis to talk about how things are going at school, with friends, and with siblings is also a great way to make sure your child is staying safe this school year.