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By Tracy Vega

It seems like we were just planning summer vacation and now the supplies are back on the store shelf. It’s back to school time! Getting the kids to and from school always made me a little nervous. As parents we are extra cautious at the beginning of the year but like with most tasks we fall into a routine and might not pay as much attention as we should to some important details. Let’s talk back to school safety!

1) First things first… Do you and your child have a safe list? The list will include approximately 5-7 people based on your child’s age that would ever be allowed to pick them up from school or day care. If they drive, their cars would be the only car your child is ever allowed to get in to. Let your child provide details to you of the people on their list. No stranger danger here. Making this list should be fun and interactive. It is something that will stick with them throughout the years.

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2) Will your child be walking or riding a bike to school this year? Make the trip with them a couple of times so you are both comfortable with the route.

3) Time how long it takes for them to travel each way; walking or riding. This gives you an idea what time they should arrive A.M. & P.M. If they have a cell phone ask them to call/text when they leave & arrive both ways.

4) If there is another child in the neighborhood going to the same school, try to arrange for them to travel together. You remember the old saying…there is safety in numbers.

5) Point out “safe places” for them along the way (if there are any) in case of an emergency.

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6) Will your children be riding the bus this year? Make sure they are familiar with the bus number. It’s better to miss a bus & remain at school with adults that can help instead of taking the wrong one and nobody knows where you are.

7) Wait in a group at the bus stop. Don’t ever leave the group to walk up to a car or individual that approaches.

8) Communicate! If your child is expressing concern or feeling uncomfortable find out why & take action. Children have great instincts. Listen to them.

For more safety tips be sure to check out www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com

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