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Child Passenger Safety Week

child passenger safety week

Sunday, September 15th begins Child Passenger Safety Week. With school having just started, this is a good time to think about how you keep your kids safe while on the road. Naturally, you will have a car emergency kit in your vehicle, but there is so much more to consider.

To help you teach your child, and maybe even refresh your own memory, Traffic Safety Marketing is offering a free activity book PDF called Let’s Learn About Safety. This 20-page book includes coloring pages, word puzzles and more. This is a big file to download, because it includes other materials as well, just so you know before you start to download it.

For kids old enough to ride the bus to school, they also offer a bilingual PDF titled Tips to Increase Your Child’s School Bus Safety. This PDF offers tips for parents so they can teach their child to be safe on the school bus, as well as approaching and walking away from the bus. It also provides ways that parents be be safer during the school year, such as slowing down and watching for children in school zones.

Use these materials to help your child have a safer school year.

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Keep School Safety and Preparedness in Mind

Make sure your kids are prepared at school

Keeping your child safe at home is almost second nature. We are always sure to have a child safety kit and home survival kit on hand to protect our children from everyday household hazards and emergencies, as well as a first aid kit for unexpected emergencies. But preparedness and safety don’t only apply at home.

Make sure, now that school is under way, that your child’s school always has current contact information in case of an emergency. In addition, your child should have an emergency contact card at all times.

Find out where your school will take children if there is a need to evacuate. Ask about their food and water storage for classrooms in case children need to shelter in place, and see how the school plans to contact family in emergency situations. Lastly, have an emergency person who is authorized to pick up your child if you are unable to. Make sure the school knows who this person is in advance of an emergency situation.

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Being Prepped for College

Is your college student prepared for emergencies?

Going away to college represents a big life change for students and parents alike. If you have a student getting ready to start classes, you both are probably overwhelmed with all the preparations. Don’t forget, getting ready for college isn’t just about academics. It is important that your college student is ready for emergencies as well.

According to FEMA, it is important to equip students with a disaster kit that includes a flashlight, a radio, a solar powered or hand-cranked cell phone charger, energy bars, water and first aid supplies. It is also a good idea to provide a car kit.

Find out the emergency procedures for the college your student is attending and make sure he or she is on the emergency notification system list. Go over the emergency procedures with your student to be sure they are clear. After all, he will have to handle situations alone without parental guidance.

You should also establish a communication system for your family so you are notified if there is an emergency at the college. You will want to know your child is safe. Also, make an emergency contact list with names, phone numbers and locations of family members, doctors, medical insurance and any other important information. Put a copy in the emergency kit and also keep a copy someplace else (such as a vehicle) so the information is easily accessible.

It may be hard seeing your child go away to college, but making sure he is completely prepared for every situation will give you both peace of mind.

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What if Your School Goes into a Lockdown?

what if your school has a lockdown

A school lockdown happens when officials at a school perceive a threat to students and staff. Students and teachers are instructed to stay in their classrooms with doors and windows closed and locked to protect them from anyone trying to enter. Students are instructed to stay quiet and move to the safest part of the room, and parents are instructed to stay away from the school until everything is safe.

A lockdown is scary for children and adults alike. However, teachers must keep calm and keep their students calm. This may be hard when children are told to hide under their desk in the dark and not make a sound. That’s why lockdown drills are useful. They help children understand what will happen in the case of a lockdown and allow them to practice. Just like tornado and fire drills, these drills should be conducted several times a year. Ask about your school’s lockdown drill policy.

While you discuss what your school will do during a lockdown, find out what type of classroom supplies are available for times of lockdown or other emergencies. Every classroom should have a safety lockdown container survival kit with enough supplies for each students. If your school doesn’t have emergency kits, consider donating one to your child’s classroom, or talk to school administrators about setting up a Save-a-Life school fundraiser to get emergency kits for the school.

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Make the Walk to School Safer for Your Child

You may remember walking to school when you were a child (up hill, both ways!) but today, not everyone feels safe letting their youngster make the trek on their own. Here are a few safety tips that will help ensure that your child gets to school safely.

Walking isn’t necessarily out of the question if the walk is short and your child is old enough. Typically, once a child is 9 or 10, he is old enough to be able to walk to school responsibly. To make that walk safer, walk with your child several times to be sure he knows the route. Point out traffic signs and lights, as well as potential hazards he should be aware of.

Teach your child to always use cross walks and only cross the street when the light is green (or if there is no traffic in the absence of a light). Look for areas with crossing guards and teach your child to always obey them.

Find out what other children live close to you that may also walk to school and create a “pool” of kids who will travel together. The old saying about safety in numbers is true, and someone is less likely to hurt a child in a group of other children. To make it even safer, parents may be able to take turns walking with the group.

If it will be dark while your child walks, make sure he has reflective clothing so it is easy to see him from a vehicle and give him a flashlight. Always have a plan for when your child will be home. If he will be late, make sure he knows to notify you beforehand. That way, if he is late, you know to look for him. An older child or teenager, you may feel safe giving them pepper spray for emergency protection. Make sure they know this is not a toy and teach them how to use it responsibly. Check local laws before carrying pepper spray. Another safety tool for any age is a safety whistle.

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