Back to School: How to Keep Your Child Safe

Summer is nearing its end…and we are getting our kids ready for back to school – so we asked our mom friends if they had any questions or concerns about their children’s safety…there were so many…but we picked a few of the top concerns to address in this blog – Back to school – keeping your child safe……..

Q: My child will be walking to school this year. He is in 5th grade and I want to give him safety skills but not scare him, what should I tell him?

A: Sit down with your child and talk to him about a plan of action for walking to school. Make sure your child is comfortable with walking to school. We recommend that he use the buddy system and not walk alone. Children walking alone are more vulnerable so we recommend that you set up a group for your child to walk with – other children or perhaps a grown-up that you trust to walk with them. Children are always safer in numbers. Make sure you outline the route for him to go with no shortcuts and to stay on the sidewalk. Do some dry runs with your child before school starts. Discuss “what if?” scenarios while you are walking. What would you do if it started raining while you are walking? What if a neighbor offers you a ride? Discuss all options – letting your child learn safest and smartest choice problem solving. Conclusion is often for a child to Check First by using their cell phone and checking with their responsible grownup. Review what the plan of action is if a car/stranger stops to ask/talk to him. Explain: Adults should not be asking children for help they should be asking adults. He should NEVER even get into a conversation with a person in a car – he should yell “NO!” run and go tell a trusted adult. Explain to him that he does NOT have to be polite to an adult he doesn’t know. His safety always comes first. If anything unusual happens along the way he should always report it to the main office when he arrives at school.

Q: My son is starting Kindergarten and we are leaving the comfort of the preschool where I knew all the parents. What do I do when a kid I don’t know wants to have a play date with my child? I am not comfortable letting my child go to a house where I don’t know the family.

Q: My son is starting Kindergarten and we are leaving the comfort of the preschool where I knew all the parents. What do I do when a kid I don’t know wants to have a play date with my child? I am not comfortable letting my child go to a house where I don’t know the family.

What if you do know the parents? There are still some good questions you can ask

Will you be home the whole time? If not, who will be watching the kids? (gives you the opportunity to be comfortable or not with the answer) Personally, we have turned down play dates because we were not comfortable with a nanny or teenage sibling watching them.

Do you own a gun? Half of Americans have a gun in their home. Even your relatives. Ask if it is locked up secure from the kids. Too many accidental deaths from kids randomly finding a gun.

Do you let the children play in the parent’s bedroom? We suggest parents bedrooms be off limits to play dates. It is often the place where guns are hidden and perhaps other inappropriate items for children. (Pornography, etc.)

Does your child have any allergies? This is need to know information.

At the end of the day, you need to trust your instincts as a parent and communicate with your child. We recommend that you sit down as a family and have a discussion about back to school safety, discuss your child’s concerns and come up with a plan of action that works for your family. For more information, parent tips visit our web site www.kidsafefoundation.org If you have a question email us info@kidsafefoundation.org here is a preview of Q & A for next week:

Q: My daughter’s friends are all on Facebook – she has been away for the summer and unplugged – but when she gets back the issue is going to come up again she is only in 6th grade

Press Inquiries or to Join the Conversation:

Kid Safe Foundation
sallyb@kidsafefoundation.org
Twitter.com/kidsafemoms
Facebook.com @ KidSafeFoundation

Testimonials

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be included in the KidSafe program. I highly recommend this program to other schools. We hope that we will be given the same opportunity for our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students to be a part of this wonderful program during the 2016-2017 school year."

Mrs. Keelyn Meselsohn 2nd Grade Teacher/Team Leader Tradewinds Elementary School

"The Safe and Smart Series Book My Body Is Special and Belongs To Me is kept in my middle school clinic and has been a tool that has opened many conversations for me between students that have experienced a difficult situation and were unable to talk about it. Through the illustrations and nonjudgmental verbiage the author has allowed kids permission to share their feelings about invasion of their personal space. Thank you so much."

Nurse Connie, PBC School Nurse 6.8.2016

"I'm so grateful that KidSafe has partnered with my daughter's school.  I learned so much in the parent training--how to recognize potential sexual predator behavior; how to quiz my child about what they would do in different scenarios; and how to explain safe and unsafe touch.  In addition, knowing that my daughter is receiving weekly trainings on these topics gives me great peace of mind.  I have confidence that I can reinforce what she is learning in school in order to prevent her from ever being a victim of such a heinous crime.  Thank you KidSafe for your dedication to protecting our communities' most vulnerable citizens."

Christina Kranick

“It was a normal Saturday and I was at the rink with my 7 and 8 year old. My son asked me if he could use the Men’s Restroom by himself.  Without hesitation, my daughter said,  Absolutely not! I was in KidSafe today and you cannot go to the restroom alone.  It is very important that Mommy is with you.. with us.   I was so proud of my little girl!  We are so blessed to have Debbie Miller at our school teaching our children the importance of safety. Many thanks to you all!  Your program and instruction is absolutely amazing.  Keep up the great work!"  

Tara Henley Admissions Assistant, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School, Ft. Lauderdale

I am a parent of two Pine Crest children and I attended your program on Monday night. I just wanted to thank you so very much for the very informative seminar. As hard as it was to hear all of those things, it was very needed. We were thrilled that you were able to come and share that very important information with us and our children. So again...thank you.

Elisa Aronberg

Today’s training was awesome! It was very informative. Sally was a very good resource, she motivated us a lot! We want to pass on this information to parents, teachers and students! Thank you for offering workshops like this. These are tools we use to continue serving our children and families.

Participant from Children’s Services Council of Broward Seminar

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