Parents and Guardians encouraged to talk about safety as the school year begins
As Naperville students begin a new school year this month, the City of Naperville and the Naperville Police Department encourage parents and residents to make back-to-school safety a priority.
Before the first day of school, be sure to talk to your children about the following safety rules:
- Use the buddy system. Children should always walk to and from school with a friend or stay with a group at the bus stop. There is safety in numbers. If your child will be riding the bus, visit the bus stop together and be sure he/she knows the bus number.
- Walk/ride in well-lit areas and never take shortcuts. Instruct children to avoid places where they cannot be seen or heard and to stay on the “Safe Routes to School.” These routes may be found on the City’s website at www.naperville.il.us/walkroutes.aspx.
- Before the first day of school, walk to and from school with your child to help familiarize him/her with the walk route. Be sure to point out “Helping Hand” houses along the way. “Helping Hand” households are safe places for children to go when they need emergency adult assistance.
- Stay within the crosswalks and obey all traffic signals/signs. Children should obey the crossing guard, if one is available. Parents should make sure that their children know how to safely cross the street. In the case of younger students, always provide supervision to help ensure their safety. If children ride their bikes to school, make sure they wear their helmet at all times, provide them with a bicycle lock and be sure they use the lock.
- Teach children the safety rule “Say NO, GO and TELL.” If anyone approaches your child, offers him/her a ride, asks for directions or makes him/her feel uncomfortable, instruct them to say “no,” get away from the situation (“go”) and “tell” a trusted adult. Be sure to discuss with your child who trusted adults may be, such as teachers, parents, friends’ parents, neighbors, police officers, firefighters and relatives.
- Have a family password. Teach your children that they can’t go anywhere with anyone (even a relative) without your permission, unless the person coming for them knows the family password. Practice situations so that your children understand the circumstances in which a person who doesn’t know the password might be persuasive. Even if someone tells your children they must come along because their parent is in the hospital, they should ask for the family password. Make sure your children have not told anyone the password. Also, make sure your children understand to never leave school with anyone they haven’t been instructed to leave with.
- If your children will be taking care of themselves after school, please provide them with additional safety rules. These may be found on the City’s website at www.naperville.il.us/onyourown.aspx.
For more information on the City of Naperville, visit www.naperville.il.us. Sign up to receive the latest news on the City of Naperville’s projects and initiatives via email at www.naperville.il.us/enews.aspx.