|How to keep your children safe|
By The Multimedia Desk, Trinidad Express, Published on Sep 10, 2015, 12:47 pm AST
THE Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has shared some advice to parents and guardians on how to keep children safe at school, and to and from school. Read this important advice.
School Safety Tips & Guidelines
• Leave home early enough to arrive at school at least 15 minutes prior to the start of school.
• Use the same route every day and never use shortcuts.
• Go straight home after school. Do not go anywhere else without permission.
• Always use public sidewalks and streets when walking to school.
• Demonstrate traffic safety awareness and pick the safest route between your home and the school.
• Try and walk to school with other students. There is safety in numbers.
• Only cross streets at designated crosswalks, street corners and traffic controlled intersections.
• Always look both ways before crossing the street and never enter streets from between obstacles like parked cars, shrubbery, signs, etc.
• Avoid talking to strangers.
• Teach your children to recognise and obey traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings.
• Teach your children to get distance between themselves and anyone who tries to approach or make contact with them.
• If a stranger does approach your child, make sure they know to immediately report the incident to you or a teacher.
• Teach your children to never get into a vehicle with anyone, even if they know them, without your permission.
Clothing and School Supplies
• To prevent injury, backpacks should have wide straps, padding in the back and shoulders, and should not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of a child’s body weight.
• When placing items in a backpack, place the heavier items in first. The closer the heavier items are to a child’s back, the less strain it will cause.
• Children should use both backpack straps and all compartments for even distribution of weight.
• Remove drawstrings from jackets, sweatshirts, and hooded shirts to reduce the risk of strangulation injuries.
School Zone Driving Safety Tips
• Be on the lookout for school zone signals and ALWAYS obey the speed limits.
• When entering a school zone, be sure to slow down and obey all traffic laws.
• Always stop for school transport vehicles that are loading or unloading children.
• Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
• Be aware of and watch out for children near schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the streets, in school parking lots, etc.
• Avoid using a cell phone, unless it is completely hands-free, while driving in a school zone.
• Use designated drop off or pick up points.
• Maintain patience and co-operation with school staff during the drop-off and/or pick-up process.
• Follow all rules and regulations of driving in traffic.
School Transport Safety
• Make sure your child stays out of the street and avoids horseplay while waiting for transport.
• Be sure the transport vehicle comes to a complete stop before getting on or off.
• When travelling in the bus/maxi taxi or other mode of transport, make sure your child understands they must remain seated and keep their head and arms inside the vehicle at all times.
• Do not shout or distract the driver.
• Do not walk in the driver’s “blind spot” — this is the area from the front of the vehicle to about 10 feet in front of the vehicle.
• Ensure that parents and students are aware of all school rules governing student behaviour whilst at school or at school functions.
• Keep personal identification information confidential.
• Clean out school bags regularly.
• Ensure that no prohibited item is in a student’s school bag.
• Report any hurtful, harmful, or negative behaviour to a trusted adult/teacher.
• Encourage students to refrain from bringing electronic devices to school to avoid the risk of thefts or the temptation of using them during class times.
• Stay positive and surround yourself with positive people.