Question: What basic safety rules should I teach or review with my young children before school starts? -- Safety First
Answer: Parents definitely need to be concerned about their children's safety. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's campaign "Be Here for Children" offers the following solid tips to keep children safe.
- Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they are being followed or need help. If they ride a bus, visit the bus stop with them to make sure they know which bus to take.
- Remind kids to take a friend whenever they walk or bike to school. Remind them to stay with a group if they're waiting at the bus stop.
- Caution children never to accept a ride from anyone unless you have told them it is OK to do so in each instance.
- Practice "what if" situations and ask your children how they would respond. "What if you fell off your bike, and you needed help? Who would you ask for help?"
- Teach your children to never approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they know the owner and are accompanied by a parent, guardian or other trusted adult.
- Help children learn to recognize and avoid potential risks so they can address them if they happen.
- Teach children if anyone tries to grab them, they should make a scene and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming and resisting.