Summer will soon be ending and that first day of school will be here before you know it. With that in mind it is time to remind ourselves and our kids to do their part to keep them safe during the school year.
We as drivers need to be extra careful at all times. Here are some kid safe tips:
There are good reasons that school zones and neighborhood streets have lower speed limits. Kids are full of energy and sometimes act before they think. Slow down and watch for the child darting into the street from between cars. They could be after a ball, the ice cream man, or be day dreaming while they walk, run, or ride their bike.
Be extra careful at intersections, driveways, and alleys.
When a group of kids are crossing the street, be watch full of the kid that got left behind and is trying to catch up. They could be late for school, a lunch break, or texting.
There are enough distractions in your car while driving, Use hands free cell phone attachments and turn off the text notification, so you are not tempted to look and answer.
When dropping off your children at school, be sure to look around for other children as you start to drive, or back up. Remember small children may be below your mirror or window view.
Parents Remind Your Kids:
That when there is no crossing guard, to cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
Never run out into the streets from between parked cars.
When riding a bike, always ride in the bike lane if provided, or to the far right of the roadway with traffic. Cars approaching from behind may not see them right away, so always look behind before starting to ride. Stop and walk across streets as mentioned above. Use safety lights to increase visibility.
If they ride the school bus, make sure they wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and then if they need to cross to the other side, always walk around the front of the bus where the driver can see them.
Teach Stranger Danger:
First the child needs to know what a stranger is. A stranger(s) is anyone that they don’t know. It could be someone with another child, a fireman, another kid, or another mother. Strangers are unknown people, not someone who looks dangerous.
Constantly remind children to never walk up to strangers who call to them or pull up beside them in a car. Sometimes they do anyway, so tell them not to believe a story that a stranger’s dog is lost, that a brother, sister, or parent is hurt, or sent them to pick them up. Get away from the stranger and go to a safe place, such as the school office, fire station, hospital, police station, or known neighbor. If this happens, always to tell a parent.
If a stranger grabs them, fight to pull away, scream, and set off their panic alarm. Then go to a safe place as mentioned above.
In today’s way of life, both parents sometimes have to work. If this is the case for you, tell your child who is authorized to pick them up. You could tell them a code word that must be said by the person picking them up.
If the stranger says he is a police officer (not in a marked police unit and in uniform), fireman, school official, or other professional, tell your child to be careful, even if ID is shown. If the child is old enough to use a cell phone, have them tell the person that they will call to confirm who they claim they are and then call 911. If the person is legitimate, they will not mind. If the child does not have a phone or is too young for one, have them get away and go to a safe place.
Please remember that it is our job as parents to teach our children, not the school, day care provider, or television.
If we all learn and practice to be safe and secure, our children will learn along with us.
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