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Back to School Safety

One of the primary concerns of the Jennings Police Department is the continued safety of our children. It is important to have a safety plan in place before an incident may occur. ... Working together, we can significantly enhance our children's safety.

With the arrival of a new school year, there are many situations children may face. Educating your children about general safety rules can greatly add to their physical and mental well-being. Parents are the most important resource in the educational process, which should begin at home.

WALKING TO SCHOOL OR TO THE BUS STOP
As a parent, you should:
*Know the routes your children take.
*Instruct them to travel with others.
*Tell your children to stay away from strangers and strange vehicles.
*Periodically review general pedestrian safety rules, such as:
*Walk on sidewalks, when there are no sidewalks, walk in single file on the side of the road.
* Cross the street at intersections only.
* Follow instructions of school crossing guards.

Children are not always aware of their surroundings and assume that drivers will stop for them. Youngsters also dart into the road without looking first for traffic. Allow room for the frequent stops that happen during the morning pick up and the afternoon drop off.



BUS SAFETY
Remind your children that riding the bus involves the safety of everyone on the bus.
Children should:
*Remain seated while the bus is moving.
*Keep hands, arms and head inside the bus at all times.
*Talk quietly so they don’t distract the driver.
*Keep hands, feet and all other objects to themselves.
*Keep the aisles clear.


SAFETY AT HOME
It is important to have a plan in place for your children to follow if they get home from school and no adult is at home. You should have a list of emergency phone numbers available for your child. These should be numbers of people they know and can call, either for advice or during emergencies. You should also have a well-defined list of what your children can and cannot do while they are home alone. Some topics you should consider making rules about are:
* Are they allowed to leave the house? If so, where are they allowed to go?
*Are they allowed to have anyone come into the house? If so, whom?
*What cooking appliances or electrical equipment may they use?
*What should they say when they answer the phone and someone asks to
speak to a parent who is not at home?

SAFETY AT SCHOOL
Support your school’s effort to enforce safety rules. As parents, you should:
*Familiarize yourselves with school policies.
* Instruct your children not to leave school with anyone unless they check with the office first.
*Inform the school, in writing, if you are making any changes in your child’s schedule (e.g., taking your child out of school early, or having someone else pick up your child).
*Develop a secret password with your child to be used in emergencies.

KNOW YOUR CHILDREN’S FRIENDS
Parents should become familiar with their children’s acquaintances. This is a continuing process because children make new friends during each school year.
Children should also be taught to keep parents informed of their whereabouts.
They may become distracted on the way home from school and end up at a
friend’s house without telling a parent. Knowing your children’s friends will help
you to know where to look for them in the event they fail to come home from
school on time.



REINFORCE SAFETY RULES
The Jennings Police Department is dedicated to keeping our children safe,but we need your help. We encourage you to review these guidelines and other general safety rules with your children.


• Be aware of putting your child's name on anything that is readily visible. This might allow an abductor to get on a "first name" basis with your child and develop a sense of trust.
• Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out safe places to go if they are being followed or need help.
• Talk to your children about strangers approaching them and some of the ploys they might use. Stress to them, adults shouldn't need a child's help to find a puppy or get directions; they should ask another adult for that information.
• Teach your children that it is okay to say NO - tell them to trust their instincts.
• Remind your children to never give the impression they are home alone if strangers telephone or come to the door. Never open the door for a stranger, and teach them about dialing 911.

******Drivers also need to be very aware when school is back in session and children will be walking to and from schools and bus stops.
• Be watchful around schools and bus stops for children running into the street.
• Watch for children entering the street from behind buses or running to catch the bus.
• When driving your children to school, deliver and pick them up as close to the school as possible. Don't leave until they are safely on school grounds.
• Drive slowly when approaching children riding bicycles and walking near the street.
• Watch your speed when entering school zones.


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