Back to School Safety for Your Family

August 25, 2017
Yellow sign. Children Crossing.
City of Aliso Viejo

It is that time of year when our children are heading back to school and each year becoming more independent. It is important that we continue to talk about safety in our homes, schools, and community. Here are some great resources to teach our kids lessons about safety.

For many pre-school aged children, going to pre-school is their first experience outside of the comfort of their own homes. The Illinois Edition of PBS LearningMedia has a great video from Daniel Tiger about neighborhood safety. In this video, Daniel and his friends learn about safety with the help of Prince Tuesday as they take a walk through the Neighborhood.

If your child is riding the school bus, Let’s Ride the Bus is a fun, animated poem that follows students as they board the bus and head to school, following all of the rules along the way.  If your child does not ride the bus, then Walking to and from school may be what they need. Kids get excited about walking with their friends and exploring their neighborhood. As parents, we want our children to have a safe walk and to be able to enjoy themselves. Always remember when choosing a route for your child to walk to, find one that has the fewest street crossings and use the sidewalk as much you can. The best place for your child to cross the street is at a crosswalk or with crossing guards.

With older kids, safety talks will be a little different. They have ridden the bus or walked to and from school for a few years now. It is still important to remind them of these safety rules, but you can also shift your conversations to include things that they can directly relate to like technology and social media safety. Parents, Kids and Technology explores the ways in which teens and adults differ in their use of the Internet and technology. Since kids grew up with technology, there seems to be a generation gap with respect to adults’ and kids' use. It is important that parents stay well-informed and know what their children are doing while on the Internet. Some parents may also be interested in installing safety filters that control the content of the Internet before it even reaches your children.

 If you have a teen that is driving, having talks about driving and road safety will be a pressing issue.  All of us enjoy the freedom that driving gives and it can make getting around more convenient. However, it is extremely important for us to teach our children and young drivers safety while driving – especially how to avoid distracted driving.  Texting while driving (TWD) has become a monumental problem in our county. Parents who teach their children why TWD is dangerous can help to save lives.  As parents, we have to lead by example so don’t call their phones to distract them while they are driving, and if you need to call them, keep the calls short and to the point.

These are just a few reminders of things that we can cover with our children as they begin to start a new year.