A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Get To School Safely!
We all know that what children do in school is very important. But, getting to school is also important. Some children are lucky enough to live near the school, but others have to walk long distances, ride the school bus, or take public transportation. How can you help your child be safe on the way to school?
Here are some things you can do.
- If your child rides the bus or subway, tell your child to sit quietly in the seat. Children should follow the directions of the driver.
- Whether your child takes the school bus or a public bus, he or she should never play by the curb. At the subway, children should stand away from the platform edge.
- If your children walk to school, make sure they are with friends. They should walk on the main sidewalks and not take shortcuts through woods or empty lots.
- Teach your children how to cross the street. Make sure they know to follow the directions of the crossing guard or safety patrol.
- How ever they travel to school, teach your children not to talk to strangers.
- Give your children a whistle to blow if they are in danger. A whistle will attract attention and may ward off a crime.
- Make sure your child uses the seat belt if you drive to school, even if it's nearby. Remember that most accidents occur within 10 miles of home.
- If your child bikes to school, make sure he or she wears a helmet. Bikers should also wear bright, light colored clothing, and, when it is getting dark, they should wear markers that reflect light.
- If your child fears other people he or she may meet on the way to school, help plan other routes for your child to take to school or talk with the school principal about this.
for young children
Help your child practice crossing the street. Teach your child to
- Cross at the corner;
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing;
- Watch in particular for turning cars;
- Stay in the crosswalks;
- If there is a traffic light, cross only when the facing light is green or when the walk sign is on; and
- Always follow the directions of the crossing guard or safety patrol.
for older children
Although it may be hard for you, talk frankly with your children and teach them some common tricks of child molesters. You might want to play out these situations with your child. What do you do if:
- Someone asks for directions and wants you to get into a car?
- Someone asks for help in looking for a lost pet and leads you into an isolated area?
- Someone asks to take your picture for a TV ad and invites you into their house or apartment?
Stay in Touch
- Always call the school if your child will be absent. Make sure the school knows how to contact you if your child does not show up. Valuable time in looking for a lost child can be saved if there is quick contact between the school and a parent.
- Tell your child how to contact you in a hurry. Give him your work phone number. Explain that she should leave detailed messages if there is an emergency. Teach your child how to call collect. Teach your child when and how to call 911.
- Arrange for other parents to take your children in an emergency or if you are going to be late.
Resources: Information was based on "How to Keep your Child in One Piece, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Helping Your Child Be Healthy and Fit. For more information, please contact the National Library of Education, 555New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20208, telephone 1-800-424-1616. Other materials from the Family Involvement Partnership for Learning--for families, schools, employers, and community groups--can also be obtained by calling 1-800-USA-LEARN.
U.S. Department of Education
Richard W. Riley
Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Sharon P. Robinson
National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Assessment
National Institute on the Education of At-Risk Students
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