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family.jpgBack-to-School Tips - A Checklist for Parents

Here are some tips for working adults with children ages 5-12:

Be sure your child knows his or her home phone number and address, your work number, the number of another trusted adult, and how to use 911 for emergencies.

  • Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and with intersections with crossing guards. Test the route with your child. Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots, fields, and other places where there aren't many people around. 
  • Teach children--whether walking, biking, or riding the bus to school--to obey all traffic signals, signs, traffic officers, and safety patrols. Remind them to be extra careful in bad weather. 
  • Make sure they walk to and from school with a friend, neighbor, brother, or sister. 
  • When car pooling, deliver and pick up children as close to school as possible. Don't leave until they are in the school yard or building. 
  • Teach your child never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don't know well or don't trust. 

If your child is home alone for a few hours after school:

  • Set up rules for locking doors and windows, answering the door and telephone, and activities allowed. 
  • Make sure they check in with you or a neighbor immediately after school. 
  • Agree on rules for having friends over and for going to a friend's house when no adult is home. 

Take time to listen carefully to your children's fears and feelings about people or places that scare them or make them feel uneasy.

Tell them to trust their instincts.

Take complaints about bullies and other concerns seriously.