Well, summer vacation is almost over and it’s back to the books on Aug. 18. This week is a perfect time for you as a parent to start talking to your kids about safety.
So let’s review what you need to do:
• Never place your child’s name on any piece of clothing that is visible to anyone. You do not want to make them a target for a stranger to call out to by name.
• Make sure your child knows his or her full name, phone number, parents’ full names, address and a work phone number.
• Throughout the school year, talk to your child about drugs, strangers and any weapon they might see or hear about, a bully or any related concerns. Let the child know that such information should be reported to the teacher, schools police and to you immediately.
• If your child is going into a new school or going to school for the first time, ask them whether there is anything that frightens or makes her uncomfortable. Share that information with the teacher or school police.
• Check with your child’s school regarding policies and procedures on emergency situations so you are not frightened if there is a lock-down. If you know the policies and procedures, you can calmly pick up your child when it’s appropriate.
• If your child rides the school bus, talk to him/her about how to behave. If your child has to wait alone at a bus stop, stress not accepting rides from strangers. If older kids ride with a friend, make sure that you speak to them about wearing seat belts.
• Do not assume that your child knows even the basic facts about safety and other risks.
• Set up a regular calling time to know when your child arrives at home.
• Another good idea is getting your child involved in school organizations and programs. Parents should get involved in the school PTA.
Let’s not forget other measures that adults must heed, such as watching your speed in school zones and wearing seat belts at all times. It’s the law now. Remember, adults are the role models for their children.
In the next few weeks, I will be providing you with tips on topics such as bullying and cyber-bullying. Our Youth Crime Watch program in the schools will be implementing and teaching our children again to help them stay safe and alert in their schools. As always you can contact our office for a variation of brochures on different topics.
On another note, a crime that is happening across the county, one which I find totally crazy, is the theft of FPL meters. Those new fancy meters are being stolen to be placed in foreclosed houses where “squatters” are living and in “grow houses.” I have contacted Florida Power Light for solutions to this theft since several of our Neighborhood Watch groups have contacted me on it. Therefore if you get home and have no power, check your meter and call FPL (800-468-8243). And if your meter was stolen, make a police report.