The new school year is upon many parents in Santa Clarita and the surrounding areas. From those parents with children attending school for the first time to parents of high school seniors, getting kids back to school safely is always a top priority.
Here are four ways to have a safe back to school experience:
Gather Your Emergency Contacts
We know that you have to submit emergency information to your child’s school, but are you keeping a contact sheet for yourself? Between the back to school shopping and pending summer activities, you will want to keep a file of all your child’s emergency contact information. When in a state of fear the brain short-circuits and thus it is common to forget important information.
Include everything from contact information for the nearest living relatives to food and medicine allergies. Making sure that you have what you need in case of an emergency is just as important as the school having what they need.
There are many debates about children having cell phones to stay connected to their parents. If you do have children with cell phones, make sure they understand the ground rules for use. For example, no texting while walking to and from school, or using the phone during class. If they are of driving age, ensure they understand the often deadly consequence of driving while texting. Also make sure to monitor their Internet use as often as possible to ensure they are not browsing through inappropriate content.
Quiz Your Kids
With younger children it is important they know basic information in the event of an emergency. Give them a fun quiz that tests their knowledge of important information such as: home telephone number, parents’ cell phone numbers, their full name, date of birth, parents’ names and street address. You will want to emphasize they should only give information to people they know such as teachers, their friends parents or sports coaches if they are injured or scared.
Meet The Parents
The new school year means a new classroom with students and parents you may not know. Make an effort to get to know the parents of your child’s classmates. Invite them to coffee or to your home for a BBQ. Knowing the parents will provide you with a network of people who are also looking out for the well-being of your child at school. This will also help you determine if you are comfortable sending your child to their home when you are not there.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to fully protect your child from harm as they go back to school. A new school year is exciting but new environments and people can pose threats to child safety. However, being proactive is always the key to keeping a child safe. Pay attention when you child talks to you about adults and children they interact with during or before and after school. If you suspect that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse contact us immediately at 800-676-5295.