Back to School Safety Tips

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a safety fact sheet for older children going to and from school. It goes into detail about the usual stranger safety tips (for example, not accepting rides), but there are a few less obvious tips for parents:
Instruct your children to always take a friend, always stay in well-lit areas, never take shortcuts, and never go into isolated areas.

Instruct your children to leave items and clothing with their name on them at home. If anyone calls out their name, teach them to not be fooled or confused.

In the event your children may be lost or injured, make sure they carry a contact card with your name and telephone numbers such as work and cellular.
Free Two Happy Girls Holding Hands Walking to School at Sunrise Creative Commons
The fact sheet also includes safety rules for children. Here are two of them:

ALWAYS TAKE A FRIEND with you when walking, biking,or standing at the bus stop. Make sure you know your bus number and which bus to ride.

NEVER LEAVE SCHOOL GROUNDS before the regular school day ends. Always check with the office before leaving school early.

I encourage parents to read the entire fact sheet here. It's also available as a downloadable color poster in both English and Spanish.

Have a safe school year!

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