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Back to school safety tips

Getting back into the swing of the school routine after the long summer holiday is a challenge for most families, but apart from getting the children to class on time it’s important to keep up your good safety habits on the school run. Always keep in mind that security is like the journey to school; it’s an ongoing process that requires you to keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Here are a few back to school safety tips to be safe at the school and returning home.

1. PARK SAFELY - Hijackers have targeted parents while fetching and dropping off their children at school, so be vigilant and make sure there are no suspicious characters hanging around where you plan to park or near your car before you leave.

2. LOCK UP - Thieves smash car windows to steal school bags and sports kits which cost a small fortune to replace. Always lock school bags in the boot and drive off promptly because lingering in your car to read notes from the teacher or to check cellphone messages makes you vulnerable to criminals.

3. CHECK DOORS - Remote jammers operate outside schools and in shopping mall parkades so always remember to manually check that your car’s doors are locked before walking away.

4. INFORM SCHOOL - Inform school staff about health and emotional concerns. Whether your child has a food allergy, a physical disability, or has been subject to bullying, make sure to keep your child’s teachers and principal in the loop.

5. OBEY RULES - If your children walk a short distance to school show them which places to avoid such as parks, vacant land or derelict buildings. Teach them to obey the traffic signals and to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing.

6. SOCIAL MEDIA SCAMMERS - Beware of what’s being posted on social media. Always be aware that anyone, including authorities, predators or school administrators, may be watching. Post appropriately and do not reveal locations.

7. REPORT STRANGERS - Warn your children about the dangers of talking to strangers at the school gate and teach them never to accept any sweets from them and to always wait inside the school property for their lift home. Teach your children to report any suspicious stranger they might see lurking around the gate.

8. WALKING HOME - Always travel along well-lit common paths. Avoid shortcuts that put you into a vulnerable situation, including areas with higher crime rates, drug activity, teens hanging out, or even highways or railroad tracks.

9. ENTERING HOME - When getting home, make sure the house is locked before walking in. Always look for red flags that might signal an intrusion. If something seems wrong, it is wrong.

10. GET HELP - Teach your children to memorise your landline telephone, cellphone and other important numbers such as for the SAPS flying squad (10111) or that of your security service provider so they know exactly where to turn for help in an emergency. ProSafe Security 011 362-5590

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