With the school year right around the corner, parents often start scrambling to check off every item on their child’s classroom supply list. While this is important, don’t forget to take the time to prepare and inform your child about school safety. So as part of our promise to bring you peace of mind, Fleenor Security would like to help you and your family get ready for the upcoming school year by offering a few simple safety tips.
Before the First Day
While the majority of parents have most likely already had experience with terms regarding emergency procedures, it can never hurt to freshen up a bit before the first day. It is important to ensure that you are well equipped to answer any question your little one may have before or throughout the following school year. Here is a list of terms by healthychildren.org that may be useful for parents to know before the big day.
- Evacuation: Used to move students and staff outside of the building to a pre-designated area located on school grounds. Students often practice evacuating their school building monthly during fire drills.
- Relocation: Used to move students and staff to a pre-designated area off of school grounds following an evacuation. This occurs if authorities determine the school is no longer safe for students and staff to return inside.
- Shelter-in-place: Used during severe weather or other environmental threats. This emergency procedure is aimed to keep all students and staff safe while remaining indoors.
- Lockdown: Used when there is a potential danger within the building. Students and staff lock themselves within their classroom or other secure area within the school until authorities escort them out safely or determine it is safe to continue normal school activities.
- Lockout: Used when there is a potential danger outside of the school building. During a lockout access to the building is limited and only authorized staff is allowed to move within the school.
Beginning of the School Year Checklist
- Make sure you fill out your child’s emergency contact card and update it throughout the school year.
- Learn about the school’s emergency procedures and ask about parental access during emergencies
- Inform the school about any special needs your child might have and if offered, fill out the school’s emergency information form.
- Arrange for your child’s school to have a backup supply of any medications or other items they might need.
- Establish a relationship with your child’s teacher before the first day and inform them of any information he or she might need to know.
- Be sure to get a signed note from your child’s doctor to be given to the school if your child needs medication throughout the day.
- Ask about any social media platforms the school may use and if they have an alert system in place to keep parents in the know.
Must Know Rules of the Road
Before the school year begins it is important to have some safety rules in place regarding transportation. Educating your child about road safety is the best way to protect them from potential dangers while traveling to and from school. Here are a few safety tips to remind your child before and through the following school year.
- Walking to School: If you are planning on having your child walk to school, practice walking together before the big day. This gives you the opportunity to lead by example and go over traffic rules along the way. It is important to remind your child to look both ways before crossing a road and to always use the sidewalk if available. If there is no sidewalk and your child must walk along the street, make sure they walk facing traffic. This way they can see an oncoming car and have the time to step out of the way safely. Additionally, encourage your child to put electronics away while walking, these items serve as distractions and can hinder their ability to see what is happening around them. Last but not least, there is strength in numbers. If possible arrange for your child to walk to and from school with friends, it is always safer than walking by yourself!
- Riding their Bike: If you are planning on having your child bike to school, they must know the rules of the road before the first day. So before setting off make sure you go over the basics. Such as, coming to a complete stop and walking their bike across the street, always riding in a single file line, using hand signals when turning, and always wearing a securely fastened helmet. Additionally, try to practice riding to and from school with your child as much as possible, while going over step by step what to do as different situations arise. In most cases, hands on learning experience is the best way to prepare your child about road safety. Finally, it is important for your child to wear bright colors while riding their bike to ensure drivers can see them clearly. So, if you are certain your child will be biking to school, investing in a brightly colored backpack might not be a bad idea!
- Taking the Bus: If you are planning for your child to take the bus to and from school, it is important to always strive to be on time. So, encourage your child to make a habit of arriving at the bus stop five to ten minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus. Having these small habits in place will help your family’s mornings run smoother and ensure your child does not miss the bus. Additionally, it is important to remind your child to remain out of the street and to avoid horseplay while waiting for the bus to arrive.