Safety and security tips for children

Parents and teachers work really hard to keep you safe. But, you can do them a favor! There are many ways that you can help them help you stay safe. No matter where you are, basic safety rules should be kept in mind. Use some of these tips to stay safe throughout your day.

When Traveling To and From School

  • Stand out of the road and on the sidewalk or grass when waiting for the bus.
  • Always stop, look both ways, and listen to what's happening in the road before crossing the street.
  • Try to only cross the street at a crosswalk or whenever a bus driver signals to you that it's all clear to cross. Even in those situations, though, always look both ways and listen to make sure no one is coming.
  • If you take a bike to school, always wear a helmet and be careful of traffic. Practice biking to school with your parents a few times before doing it by yourself.
  • If you bike or take a long walk in the heat, protect your skin from the sun's rays.
  • On the other hand, if you happen to be traveling at night or in the dark, you should have reflective gear on so that cars can see you.

When In School

  • When at school, and at many other times, it's important to keep an eye out for bullying, which can happen anywhere, including online.
  • If you're being bullied, tell an adult like a teacher or your parents. Remember that bullying doesn't always mean fighting; it can mean being called names or being made fun of all of the time.
  • Also, if other people are bullying someone else, you can also tell a teacher about it. When people get hurt, it's everyone's business.
  • If a fight happens, tell a trusted adult right away. Steer clear of violence in school.
  • When completing emergency drills, stay quiet and listen to your teacher. You never know when it's not a drill!

When Home Alone

  • Talk with your parents about what to do during a fire, a flood, or another type of emergency that can happen when you're home alone. Learn about what you can do to stay safe at home.
  • All homes are filled with hazardous chemicals and materials you shouldn't touch. Talk to your parents and lean how to recognize toxic stuff. Don't eat or drink things you're not supposed to when you're home alone; ask your parents when they get home if it's good for you to eat
  • Never play in a dangerous way when you're home alone. If you do happen to hurt yourself with a small cut, find out where you can find your first aid kit.
  • Make sure that you always have access to a phone, and that you know the numbers you need to call if you're scared, uncomfortable, or worried.
  • Keep the door locked and don't answer it for people you don't know.

When at a Friend's House

  • Make sure that there's an adult present. If there's not, you'll want to call home.
  • Always know the address of the place where you're staying, even if it's just for the night.
  • Make sure that you have access to a phone so that you can call someone if you're simply scared or upset.
  • For accidents and major emergencies, make sure you know how to call 911 and what sort of information emergency professionals need. This number should be called only for emergencies, like if a fire has started, someone is badly hurt, or someone has been threatened with their life.
  • Be polite when you're at a friend's house, but remember that you never have to eat, drink, or watch something that you don't want to. If you're ever given something that tastes funny or makes you feel uncomfortable, you don't have to do it. Call to go home.

When in a Public Place

  • Always be aware of strangers, and avoid them. Never accept a gift from a stranger or agree to follow a stranger somewhere if you're on your own.
  • It's important to remember to avoid a stranger even if they say that you know them or your parents know them, unless your mom or dad has really told you it's OK.
  • If you are ever attacked, pulled, or threatened by a stranger, remember McGruff's advice: No, go, yell, and tell! Say "no," run away, yell for help of another adult, and tell them what happened.
  • If you're ever lost in a public place and can't find your parents, there is often a policeman or security officer that can help. They are one type of stranger that's OK to talk to!
  • Play in areas that are well lit, and that you know. If you wander off on your own, you may actually get lost that way.

When Online

  • There are many different ways you can stay safe online. One way is to simply never share your personal information without your parents' permission. That includes your address, your full (first and last) name, your phone number, what you look like, your birthday, or any other very personal information.
  • Always be careful and tell your parents before you share, comment, or post something online. Social media is exciting, but it's also important to be careful about who is actually your friend online.
  • The same rules about strangers apply online. Don't talk to people you haven't met in person, and never tell strangers online about where you are in person. If an adult asks where you are online, let your parents know.
  • Note that bullies can also be found online. If you encounter a cyberbully, tell your parents.
  • If you're the victim of cyberbullying, simply stop using your social media and online devices and talk to your parents or teacher about what happened.

During an Emergency

  • Map out an escape plan with your parents regarding what to do during a fire and learn about how to recognize a fire.
  • Always stay calm during an emergency. Don't panic and calmly do what your parents or other adults ask of you.
  • If emergency professionals like firefighters, police, or paramedics come to your home, respect what they say, stay out of their way, and give them room to work.
  • Talk to your family before a disaster happens about being ready, and you can be a hero in a disaster. Building an emergency kit with your family can be fun.
  • Make sure that everyone, even your dog, has a plan for where and when to meet up during a disaster, whether the disaster happens at home or while you're at school.

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