#childsafety | Safety tips for heading back to school

ER24 urged parents and children preparing for school in the new year to keep in mind their safety and health.

Here are a few tips worth sharing with children to ensure they stay safe:

• If you walk to and from school, try to do so in a group. Stick to streets you know and never take shortcuts through quiet areas or empty parking lots. Never walk through secluded areas. If you see someone behaving suspiciously, get away from the person immediately and report the incident.

• Ensure that valuables such as cellular phones and other electronic devices are not visible.

• Know the rules of the road. Do not jaywalk. Cross roads where you are allowed to but ensure that it is safe to do so.

• Never accept or ask a stranger for a lift. Leave home early enough to ensure that you are at school on time. Never get into a stranger’s car; even if the stranger claims that someone you love is hurt and that they are supposed to pick you up. Remember that your parents would never send someone you don’t know to fetch you.

• For those who are dropped off and picked up from school, parents/ guardians or others responsible for doing so should ensure this is done safely. If the area around the school is busy, be patient. Be careful of other vehicles in the area and children who are walking past. Always wait inside the school grounds for your lift to arrive.

If you walk to and from school, try to do so in a group. Photo: Pixabay. For illustrative purposes.

• If strangers approach you, don’t talk to them no matter how friendly they may seem. If someone tries to grab you, fight, kick and scream that the person is not your parent.

• Children must be appropriately restrained in a vehicle. Parents/ guardians should ensure that lift clubs or any other form of transport that is organised for children is safe. Know who is transporting the child. Children who feel unsafe in these vehicles should report it to their parents/ guardians.

• Always keep a list of emergency numbers to contact in case it is needed.

• Children and parents/ guardians should have a close relationship and build on trust. If you decide to go somewhere after school or spend time with friends, always ask or let parents/ guardians know where you are going and what time they should expect you back.

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