School has either just begun or is about to begin, now is a great time to have a Back To School Safety refresher coarse for students, parents and anyone who drives around children (that’s all of us).

Back to School Safety

Active Shooter Drills

In the wake of the recent shootings, school safety is at the top of everyone’s list. While there is some debate about the effectiveness of active shooter drills in schools, preparing your children to remain calm in a crisis situation is always helpful, (this blog is not the place to learn about active shooter safety – it’s a much larger topic that needs more intense attention than can be afforded in these pages, however there are classes that can be hugely helpful).

With that said, children should be taught the same thing we’ve been preaching since after 9/11.  That is if you see something, say something. A difficult task for children as they value highly the opinion of their peers and to be known as a tattle-tale can be socially destructive. Nonetheless, it’s important to impress upon them that if they hear of potentially dangerous acts from schoolmates, they shouldn’t hesitate to alert a teacher or parent.

Safety on the Road

Now that school is back in session, you’ll notice there are plenty of buses on the road as well as children walking to and from school. Obviously we should always be alert when driving, but accidents increase when school goes back in session so be sure to keep an eye out for kids at crosswalks. When you see a bus stop, even if the arm doesn’t come out, assume there is a child nearby that needs to cross and proceed with extreme caution. Of course it goes without saying to always obey speed limits and follow the rules of the road.

Playground Safety

After a long day at school, there’s nothing better for kids, and adults, then to go outside and blow of some steam. The playground is a great place to do just that. Little kids should always be supervised. Older kids should watch out for the younger kids and be mindful that the playground isn’t a place for roughhousing. Remind children not to talk to or leave the playground with strangers.

Home Alone

Now that school is back in session, many kids will be home alone for a few hours after school gets out. If you have children at home alone after school it’s important that they know all the emergency phone numbers in the event of a fire, natural disaster or other emergency. Teach them how to call 911 and what information they will need to supply including name, address, and parent’s name. Remind children not to open the door to strangers and not to play with matches while home alone. If your child is not old enough or mature enough to understand emergency preparedness, then they will need a sitter to stay with them until an adult returns home.

Remain Calm 

The more kids are prepared, the better they respond to crises or other scary events. Role play with your children so they can feel confident that they know what to do in each situation. When children feel confident, they can face the problem calmly which results in a much better outcome than when panicked.