Back-to-School Safety Checklist
The start of another school year is just around the corner, and safety is a priority now more than ever. You know that your kids should be safe at school for most of the day, but what about after school? Statistically, your child is most vulnerable to crime during after-school hours. You can beat the stats with some safety tips below.
Scheduling for Safety
Ensure your child has a set schedule for after-school activities. For example, have your children call you from your home phone every day at a set time. This way, even when you're at work, you know they've arrived home safely. You can build on their schedules based on family rules, say, 3:30 to 4PM is free time, 4 to 5 is reserved for homework or study groups, snack time is at 5, and so on.
You've taught your children not to speak to strangers, but that may not be enough. It is just as important to teach your children who they can trust, especially in times of need. Identify personal contacts your children can trust, such as close friends and neighbors, and also remind them of reputable safety professionals like police officers, firemen, and teachers.
Protecting Personal Information
Teach your child important phone numbers: your cell phone number, the cell phone number of a trusted friend, and your home address. Remind them to closely guard personal information, and not to disclose anything private to people who call on the phone or reach out via email.
Enrolling in an Afterschool Program
You can help ensure your children's safety by enrolling them in a licensed after-school program with a solid reputation. Visit first and check out the rooms and the playground; does the equipment look safe? Ask to review any safety reports. Check to see what kind of recreational, community, and cultural activities the program offers, and be sure the activities are safe and age-appropriate for your child.