4 Ways to Supercharge Back to School Safety

Alli Walsh, Social Media Strategist

Does anything go as fast as summer vacation?

Back-to-school time is upon us and parents everywhere are making lists, trying on last year’s clothes and seeking hot deals on supplies. At the same time, kids are soaking up the last few days of freedom before they hit the books once again. And when they go, they’ll leave home with just a tad more independence than they had the year before.

Here’s how to ensure they leave for school safely this season:

  1. Streamline social. If you’re like most parents, you’ll share more than a few snapshots of the first day back to school. And why wouldn’t you? Kids are dressed up and excitement is high during this milestone day. But before you do, consider revisiting your social networks’ privacy pages to ensure you have privacy locked down tight. With a few clicks, you’ll ensure only your family members and friends have access to your photos.
  2. All in the name. Monograms are cute and sure make it easy for kids to identify their own items in a sea of supplies. However, no one needs to know their name while they travel between home and school. Skip putting your child’s name or nickname on their clothing, lunch bag or backpack. And consider creating a family password—an agreed upon secret word that indicates you have asked an adult to speak to your child for you—to help your kids recognize friend from foe.
  3. Travel smarts. Whether kids travel by car, bus, bike or foot, a little prep adds a lot of safety to their days. Depending on your mode of transport, make sure kids understand rules of the road and crosswalks, how to safely steer clear of pedestrians, the importance of helmet-wearing and good bus behavior. Keeping a safe distance away from school buses, as well as other traffic, is great advice for all. Practice your child’s route, exactly the way they’ll travel it, several times before the school year begins. And if they’ll be biking, make sure their helmet fits properly and they’re confident working their bike lock on their own.
  4. Afterschool matters. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 report, over 60 percent of families have two working parents, meaning a lot of children return home to empty homes after the school day is over. Keep yours safe by creating a plan for how they’ll spend their time until you arrive home. Include details on snacks, homework and activities, so nothing is left to imagination. Create a backup plan for what to do if your child can’t get in the house that involves a trusted neighbor or family member who’ll take over until you arrive home. And practice locking and unlocking the door—or turning off the home alarm system—several times before school starts.

A small amount of preparation helps everyone feel more confident and safe when kids return to school this fall. Here’s to healthy, happy and safe 2016-2017 school year!


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