As boys and girls throughout the community sharpen their pencils and get ready to head back to class, it’s important to ensure they have a safe school year. Here are some tips on how your family can be proactive and avoid potentially harmful situations:
- Make sure your school has your child’s updated emergency contact information. Write down any specific instructions that should be followed in case of an emergency, and have the school keep them in your child’s file.
- Talk to your child’s teachers before classes start and alert them to any medical issues your child has. Also, explain to the teacher what he or she should do if the medical issues arise—such as an allergic reaction, asthma attack or seizure—and provide school personnel with emergency medication such as EpiPens® (Epinephrine Auto-Injectors) and inhalers.
- Help your children memorize important phone numbers so that they know how to get in touch with you and other trusted adults. Also, make sure those numbers are programmed into their cell phones, or provide them with a list of phone numbers that they can keep in their backpacks or wallets at all times.
- Let your children know exactly who they can go home with after school if their regular ride can’t pick them up, and make sure they know not to accept rides from people who aren’t on the list.
- If your children will be walking to school, walk the route with them several times before classes start to make sure they understand traffic laws and can walk the route on their own. Also, find a friend or sibling they can walk with, and make sure they always use the buddy system.
- Show your children which houses in the neighborhood they can go to in case no one is at home after school. Talk to the HOA board to see if there are any official safe houses in the community that your child can go to.
- Report reckless drivers to the HOA board and the police to help make sure the neighborhood remains safe, particularly during times when kids are going to and returning from school.