There is a lot of preparation that goes into back to school season. We spend hours searching for clothes, classroom supplies, lunchboxes and backpacks. Yet, we somehow forget to take a few moments to talk about safety. Now is the perfect time to brush up on safety and here are some
pointers to get you started!
What to review NOW with your kids:
Talk about the roles and responsibilities of the adults around them. Talk about healthy body boundaries. Review who their safe grown ups are at school, sports and after school care.
- Identify your child’s route to school. Walk the route with your child and point out homes or businesses that they can go to if they need help.
- Discuss with your child who is on your designated "safe pick up list" when they get picked up at school.
- Talk about the pick up plan for your kids and what you will do if the pick up plan changes (you are late or need to send someone else).
- Let you child know that you will never send anyone to pick them up that is not on the pick up list and you will not send someone to pick them up along side of the road.
- Remind them to “check first” before accepting gifts or rides from anyone (even if they know the person!).
What parents need to be thinking about:
- Plan ahead on how you want to handle play dates at new friends’ houses.
- Talk about how you want to handle sleepovers this year.
- Review your child’s readiness if they express and interest in walking home with a friend or if they want to try staying home alone for short periods of time.
Thinking ahead and preparing to answer these questions will make you less likely to have to make on the spot safety decisions. Remember to make talking about personal safety a fun thing. Never use scare tactics. Keep it simple! Safety talks should be about 20 SECONDS! The more short talks about safety the more your kids learn about listening to their instincts and how to make safe choices.