The following ideas may not apply to
all students in all age groups. This list
is designed to help you in determining
what must be done to protect your children
in situations that they may likely encounter.
Here are some possible dangers that your
kids may face as they head back to school:
# 1 - Every year thousands of children are
injured and many are killed in school bus
incidents. Make sure your kids approach,
board, ride and depart school buses in a safe
and responsible manner.
# 2 - Kids who walk to school are also at
risk of injury. Carve out the safest path
to school, for your kids. Any environmental
or structural dangers along the path should
be brought to the attention of the appropriate
authorities. Adult supervision is a terrific
# 3 - Abduction - protect your child from
this risk exposure by carefully evaluating
your child's route to and from school as well as
during after school activities. It is best to
make sure that your child never travels alone.
It is even better if children always travel with
a supervising adult. If you work and are unable
to escort your kids, work out a plan with
a reliable neighborhood stay-at-home mom to
escort your kids with hers. And remember,
do not visibly label your children's clothes
and accessories. This makes children
vulnerable to predators who can pretend
to know them.
# 4 - Every year thousands of children are
injured by the weight of their backpacks.
If your child has a heavy load, get a back
pack with wheels and a retractable pull handle.
# 5 - Bullies can be in full force. Please
review an extensive list of suggestions for
handling this very complex problem in the:
(this link provides free access to this book).
Also, review your child's school procedures
for supervising playground activities and
# 6 - Playground dangers - In additional to
the dangers posed by bullies on the playground,
children may also be at risk from injury
on playground equipment. Make sure that
you discuss any dangerous equipment
and unsafe playground surfaces with a
# 7 - Weapons at school create chilling
possibilities for injury. If your kids learn of
any students who possess guns, knives or other
weapons you need to immediately report it
to a responsible adult, (even if you need to
do it anonymously).
# 8 - Diseases - protect your kids
from contagious childhood diseases by
maintaining a recommended vaccination
schedule. Talk to your family doctor or
community health care department for
specifics. Seasonal illnesses such as
the flu may also pose a threat. Flu and
pneumonia vaccines may be appropriate.
# 9 - Sleep deprivation - Make sure that
your kids get at least 8 hours of sleep, daily.
Children (and adults) who get less will
not only be less productive and creative
but will be more likely to experience an
accidental injury. Attention skills are
compromised in those who receive
# 10 - Sports injury - as your children
engage in school related sports programs,
make sure that the program is committed
to maintaining safety and injury prevention
standards. No game win is more important than
your child's safety and emotional well being.
# 11 - Disaster preparedness - Review your
child's school's procedures and prevention
strategies for handling: fires, tornadoes,
hurricanes, terrorist attack, violent incidents,
weapons discovery, and substance abuse.
DANGERS FOR COLLEGE BOUND KIDS:
1-Dorm break-ins - get a portable door alarm
or other type of room alarm.
2-Dorm fires - make sure your dorm has
working smoke detectors and sprinkler
systems. Always map out 2 escape
routes, especially on higher floors.
3-Date rape & rape attack - never leave a
beverage unattended and never accept
opened beverages. Travel about the
campus at busy times and with company.
4-Campus safety - investigate campus crime
statistics (often underreported).
5-Substance abuse: Liquor, drugs, & cigarettes
are prevalent on campus. Know the risks
and the harm that these products cause.
Avoid users to prevent peer pressure.
There are plenty of health conscious kids
on campus to befriend.
6-Sexually transmitted diseases - Know the risks
of Unprotected sexual activity. Take protective
and preventive measures to protect yourself
from life threatening illness.
7-Meningitis - College students appear to have an
increased risk of getting this contagious
disease. Talk to your family doctor or
school's health department about the
8-Hazing - This timeless ritual of "earning"
entrance into a social "group" has led
to injuries and some deaths among
college students. Parents can only hope that
they have instilled a level of common sense
and self respect in their children that would
discourage participation in such a potentially
dangerous ritual. Talk and listen to your kids.
As you review this list of potential "back to school"
dangers, you can determine what risk exposures
apply to your children. This realization alone
could help you to take the preventive and protective
actions that could protect your kids from harm.
Have a wonderful and safe school year!
About the Author:
Julie Joyce (the "Super Safety Mom") is a
Child and Family Safety Expert, committed to
teaching parents how to protect their kids.
She is the Editor of FamilySafety101.com and
the "Family Safety Alert" newsletter. Go to:
for F-r-e-e copies of her Family Safety Book,
Child ID Kits & other safety resources.