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September 18, 2012 > The Summer is Over Already?

The Summer is Over Already?

Submitted By Newark PD

This isn't just a topic for parents - It's a safety message for everyone!

It is important to instill in our children not only the confidence (when age appropriate) to walk, bike or take the bus to school, but also how to best protect themselves in all situations. Here are some important safety tips to review with your school-bound children:

Stranger danger:
It is crucial to remind our children about strangers on an ongoing basis. Complacency is a danger that sneaks up on all of us, from kids to parents. Instruct your children to vary their route of travel (for those that bike or walk) but remind them that they must keep you in the know as to which way they are headed to school.

Someone tried to grab me! Unfortunately abductions occur in our country; however, they are very rare. Tell your children what to do if someone attempts to take them against their will. An explosive, direct response of a well-positioned kick or hit will provide them the moment or two needed for escape, and screams and calls for help will attract attention.

Awareness - key to safety. Regardless of your age, athletic ability or sheer strength, it is important to be aware and prepared. Teach your children to look around and know what's behind and in front of them. Also encourage walking in groups to deter abductions.

Plan B - I need help - Where do I go? There may come a time when out of fear (of a danger real or perceived) your child needs help. Show him or her the best places to go (friend's homes, public locations and the police or fire departments).

As parents, our tasks are not only to educate our children about safety, but also to educate ourselves. Here are some tips on parent education:

* Visit the state's Megan's law database to find out who lives in your neighborhood, or on your child's route to school. If an offender does reside in the area, inform your children about who to avoid and how.

* Buckle Up! Each year thousands of children are killed or injured in car crashes. The sad fact is that many 12-1 of these fatalities and injuries could have been avoided.

* Set the example! Not using crosswalks, failing to buckle up, not observing good safety measures, says one thing only to our children-it's OK, mom and dad do it!

Even if you don't have children in school, you are still part of the school safety picture. From traffic safety to being part of the 'safety net for children, we need your participation! The following are some ideas about how you can help create a safe school community:

* Slow down! For many, the summer school breaks have meant an opportunity to disregard special school speed limits. The summer is over and now is the time to follow the school traffic safety signs.

* Give them a few more inches. New, young bicyclists are out on the streets finding their way to school. Give them a little more room on bike paths and in bike lanes, as many are still mastering the two-wheel balancing act.

* Stop! Be extra observant at crosswalks, as some younger pedestrians may be over-eager to cross on their way to school or home.

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