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10 Safety Tips for Going Back to School

It’s that time of year again! The school buses are rolling out, the pencils are being sharpened and the young minds are learning. It’s school time in North Carolina. Following are 10 steps you can take to ensure your child’s school year is a safe and productive one.

1. Teach your children not to talk to, take anything or accept a ride from strangers. Let them know that strangers are people who you do not know well or do not trust.

2. If your child walks to school, try to find a neighbor you trust that also has a child who walks to school. If they are older, they can watch over the child and offer as a positive role model in how to deal with situations which arise in the walk.

3. If your child rides his bike or scooter to school, make sure he or she wears a helmet. Also make sure the helmet meets safety standards. For more on bicycle safety standards, click here.

4. If your child rides the bus, make sure they know not to linger around the front of the bus after they get off. The driver, due to the size of the bus, may not see them if they stop and pick something up. Get off. Be seen. Get to a safe place.

5. Make sure your child knows phone numbers of trusted adults for emergency situations. This includes your cell, home and work phone numbers and anyone else who you feel comfortable with taking care of your child. Also, test them on their home address.

6. If your child walks to school, walk the path with them a few times before you let them go it with their friends. Let them know that it is the path they should take everyday and that they should not wander off to any parks or where there are no people.

7. Inspect the playground equipment at your child’s school. Alert the administration if you see anything that looks like it can cause harm to the children while they play.

8. Check out your child’s backpack. Is it way too heavy. Help them lighten the load by going through and making sure to leave anything at home or at school which is not necessary for that day. If your child walks to school everyday with a heavy backpack this may cause problems during the school year and in the future.

9. Teach your child the proper rules of the playground. No pushing, shoving, rough-housing, bullying, etc.

10. If you drive your child to school, drop them off as close to the entrance as you can. Make sure to watch them walk inside the building before you leave.

Check out these additional resources on Back-to-School safety:
Safe Kids USA
Scruff McGruff
Children’s Safety Network

* Photo courtesy of tyhatch by way of flickr Creative Commons.

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