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Thursday, August 22, 2013

School's back-Think safety

Summer vacation ends next week for most children. Some parents are ecstatic to get the kids out of their hair, while others will miss all the bonding. No matter the category in which you fall this is an excellent time to review safety with your child.
We all want to protect our children or just help them remember important information. However, we must be mindful of how much information about our child, is sent with our child. When you’re filling out labels on backpacks, lunch boxes, coats, binders, etc., take a second to think about what information is really necessary. Information such as names, addresses, and phone numbers can be very revealing. Child predators only need little bits of information to seem friendly and familiar to your child.
Someone that has your child’s name can be very convincing that the child should come with him or her. Unfortunately, child predators are a reality that is all too present, even in our own community. There are fifty-seven registered sex offenders with Odenton/Severn addresses. One for attempted solicitation.
When attending school orientations, pay attention to the school’s plan for emergency events. If not presented-ask. Know what the notification system is and that your contact information is up to date. Know where and how parents are to respond to the school in the event of an emergency.
Cell phone cameras make it easier than ever to keep current photos of your children. Whenever you go to busy public areas or they have field trips, take a photo. If needed, you would have a current picture of your the child and their clothing to give to the police.
Children will also be walking to and from school and maybe coming home to empty houses. Drive safely and be mindful of children walking. If your child comes home to an empty house, sent up a notification time and method. Establish trouble codes. If you don’t hear from you children do not assume everything is OK. Contact them right away. Better to over react than not at all.

Be smart and safe.