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Friday, December 1, 2023

Focus on Safety – Back-to-school safety


Students in Naperville and across the country are getting ready to go back to school, making this the perfect time to remind students, parents and the community about our August Safer Naper topic: Back-to-School Safety.

From preschool to college age, it is important to discuss safety information with your student before the new school year starts.

Younger children should know their full name, address, telephone number and their parents’ names. In a time of cell phones and contact lists, more children (older children, too) do not know a parent/caregiver’s phone number by heart, which could turn out to be of great importance in an emergency.

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No matter what their age, when walking or riding their bike to school, students should always practice the “buddy system.” Staying with a group while waiting at the bus stop equally as important. If anyone bothers them while going to or from school, make sure they get away from that person and tell a trusted adult about what happened. Teach your children that grown-ups should never ask children for help or directions, they should ask other adults. If someone follows them or makes them feel uncomfortable, they should GO to get away as quickly possible and be sure to TELL a parent or trusted adult what happened.

Parents and students can check the safest routes to their respective schools by reviewing recommended walk routes and traffic control plans for each school developed by Naperville’s Transportation, Engineering and Development (TED) Business Group. Walk the route with your child before school starts, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Stress the importance of using main roads and avoiding shortcuts or isolated areas.

All students also need reminders about never leaving school with anyone they haven’t been instructed to leave with by their parents/caregiver. Tell them to always “check first” before going anywhere with anyone.

For your college-bound student, some of the basic safety strategies never change, such as there being safety in numbers (buddy system). Whether the student is going away or staying local, review personal safety guidelines and help them understand the consequences of their actions. For any electronic devices, make sure proper records are kept with serial numbers and accurate descriptions in case of loss or theft.

Additional back-to-school safety tips for parents, students, motorists and community members are available at naperville.il.us/asafernaper.

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Julie Smith
Julie Smith
Julie Smith is Crime Prevention Specialist at the Naperville Police Department. Contact her at SmithJu@naperville.il.us or (630) 305-5450.


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