#BackToSchool | Back to school safety tips

With schools across the country re-opening this week, there is excitement among learners who look forward to seeing their friends again, starting a new school year and some entering their final year of primary or high school.

While children understand the concept of safety. It is still important that parents continue to educate their children about personal safety to give everyone peace of mind. It boils down to making sure your children know how to avoid potential danger. They must know what to do in case something happens to them. No matter the age your child is, nor how safe they might feel, it is best to err on the side of caution.

Here are safety tips for your children:

  • Children must always walk to or from school with a friend or friends. If your child walks alone, it’s a good idea to ask a teacher or other parents if they know of other children from the area who do the same. Some towns have started “walking buses”, where local parents volunteer to walk to and from school with a group of school children to assure their safety.
  • Children should stick to streets they know. They should avoid shortcuts through unfamiliar or quiet areas. Never take shortcuts through a veld, bushy or secluded areas. If it is unavoidable, always ensure someone knows exactly what route your child will take.

READ | NEW | Aerorand Primary School opens its doors

  • If your children get picked up at school, they should always wait on the school premises. They should not leave the premises to look for them in the street.
  • Make sure your children understand you would never send someone they don’t know to fetch them. They should never get into a stranger’s car. Even if they claim that someone came to pick them up. Consider using a password system. This is to ensure that the person collecting your children is, in fact, a friend or someone you can trust.
  • If a stranger approaches your child, they should not talk to them, no matter how friendly they may seem. Teach your kids that if someone grabs them or forces them to go somewhere, they should fight, kick and scream to make a scene and get help.

Sometimes, children have to see themselves to and from school and keep occupied until parents return home in the evening. It is extremely important that children know not to let anyone into the house without their permission. If you are going to be late, let your children know as soon as possible and give them an idea of when they can expect you to be home.

READ MORE |Security guard shot dead at a local school

A good idea is to draw up a list of important telephone numbers or save them on your child’s cell phone if they have one. This list must include emergency services and both parents’ work and cellphone numbers and any other close friends and neighbours.

It’s also important to explain to them when these should be used. Everyone in the household should also know how to use your home security system. This includes children to know how and when to use the panic buttons.

SOURCE: Fidelity ADT

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