The school year is in full-swing, which means your kids are deep into sports try-outs, extracurricular activities, and, of course — the latest lesson plans. But while your little ones, pre-teens, or high schoolers learn about math and literature, you also have a subject to brush up on — safety.
You might not always be there to walk your child to the bus each morning or make sure they wash their hands before digging into their lunch, but with these helpful school safety tips, you can still help them stay safe and healthy before, during, and after school.
Tips for Getting to School Safely
Whether your littlest learner is eager to start heading out solo or your teenager is always rushing to make it to school before the first bell, trip there is a crucial start to their day. No matter how they make it from home to homeroom, teaching them these tips can help ensure they get there safely.
Bus Riders: Follow School Bus Safety Rules
While your children chat with neighborhood friends or start reading a book before the bus arrives, it’s an easy time for you to catch up with fellow grownups as well. But during the bus stop wait, it’s still important for kids of all ages as well as adults to remain alert at all times. Here are some safety rules we gathered for you to help keep bus riders safe:
It can be helpful to practice walking a six-foot and ten-foot distance with your child in the evening or on a weekend, so they can feel confident when they do it alone.
Walkers: Do More Than Look Both Ways
If you live within walking distance of your child’s school, they can spend their mornings getting a little fresh air. Keep in mind that most children aren’t ready to walk to school alone until they’re at least 10, so be sure to always have an escort if they’re younger. If you have an older child who is ready to hit the sidewalks unsupervised, we collected these helpful guidelines you can share to help them stay safe on their own:
If there are several routes your walkers can take to school, coordinate with school officials, local police officers, and other parents to find the safest one. You can also join (or start) a walking school bus in your neighborhood.
Bike Riders: Stay Alert
Biking to school is an easy way for your pre-teen or teenager to get some exercise outside of recess and gym class. Here are a few tips we put together for you to help ensure a safe ride:
The right age to start riding a bike to school depends on your child’s skill level. If you’re not sure your child is ready, practice riding with them to see if they have the skills and awareness to get to school safely.
Drivers: Focus on School Road Safety
Starting to drive can be a rite of passage for teens. As soon as they leave the DMV with their new license, they’re probably eager to hit the streets with their friends in tow — but they need to know a few key safety rules first. And these rules aren’t just for any new drivers in your life; they’re helpful for parents to keep top of mind, too:
Tips for Health and Safety At School
Your kids’ teachers may be responsible for coaching students on math and science, but you can do a little teaching yourself to help keep them safe and healthy while they learn.
Know Your School Safety Policy
It can be hard to keep track of all the forms your children bring home from school during the first week. But if you see a school safety policy or handbook, you should put it on top of the “must-read” pile. Knowing what’s in the school’s safety policy — and sharing the most important notes with your child — can help keep them safe year-round.
Once you familiarize yourself with the school handbook and have a safety-themed conversation with each student, be sure to:
Teach Kids Classroom Safety and Wellness Habits
School safety involves more than knowing the closest fire route. To keep your kids safe — both physically and mentally — during the school day, teach them to:
Tips for Staying Safe After School
Hearing that last bell ring can be one of the most exciting parts of your child’s day. But before they run off to play basketball with their friends or meet a study buddy in the library, you should set a few guidelines.
Establish An After-School Routine
Set After-School Rules for Kids Who Stay Home Alone
If you plan to let your children come home after school before you get back from work, you should set a few ground rules. Here are a few questions to help you decide what you’re comfortable with:
Use a Security System and Download the Neighbors App for Peace of Mind
Even if you’re not physically home when your children return from a long day at school, you can feel like you are with a Ring Video Doorbell. You can get a notification when your kids walk past and use Live View to say hi or ask about their day with Two-Way Talk.
If you have a security system like Ring Alarm, you can set a daily schedule to change the Alarm Mode to “Home” or “Away” at different times, like when your kids usually leave or arrive home from school. By changing your alarm setting to “Home” mode when they arrive, you can arm whichever sensors you designate in settings — like contact sensors on doors and windows. That extra peace of mind can make it easier to focus on finishing the workday while your kids are safely studying (or raiding the pantry for an afternoon snack) at home.
For a closer look at what’s happening in and around your neighborhood — not just at home — anyone can download the Neighbors App. You’ll get real-time alerts from your neighbors when they post about safety concerns. You can also find information from your local agencies and real-time reports about severe weather and safety trends from the Neighbors News Team. If you get an alert while your child is at home, you can have them go to their emergency contact or a neighbor’s house until you arrive. Plus, if you have any crime or safety incidents caught on your Doorbell or Video Cameras, you can share them on the App to help keep your neighborhood safe throughout the school year.