Back-to-school tips to keep students safe

Parents of Primary Students:

  • Find a safe route to and from school and practice it with your children.
  • Join an existing Walking School Bus or Bicycle Train, or start up your own with other parents in your neighborhood.
  • Identify safe places along the route, such as a friend’s house, where your children can go if they encounter trouble.
  • Discuss how to safely interact with strangers
  • Ensure your children understand traffic safety, such as how to cross the street, board the school bus and what to do and whom to contact in the event of a natural disaster.
  • If your child has food allergies, co-ordinate with the school principal on an updated emergency plan that best meets your child’s needs.

Parents of Intermediate/Middle School Students:

  • Help your children pack their backpacks, and ensure their backpacks weigh no more than 10 to 20 per cent of their body weight.
  • Make sure your children use both shoulder straps when carrying their backpacks. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles and may even increase the curvature of their spines.
  • Discuss your children’s safe route to school and ensure it is still effective. Note any changes in safe stops, such as friends moving to or from the neighborhood.
  • Talk to your children about appropriate school behavior, and remind them what to do and whom to talk to if they encounter bullying, including online bullying.
  • Help your children understand how to safely use the Internet and how to protect their privacy.

Parents of Secondary Students:

  • Talk to your teenagers about being safe drivers and passengers. Let them know it is okay to say “no” to getting into a car with someone they feel is an unsafe driver.
  • Encourage your teens to talk to you about issues that are important to them, including peer pressure, drugs and alcohol, and sexuality.
  • Let your teenagers grow and help to provide them with a sense of confidence. This is the best defense against peer pressure.
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