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Prepare to have a safe school year

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  • By Shane Poulsen, 75th Air Base Wing Safety

Just like many of you, I have school age children at the beginning of this school year, and I want to make sure they have an enjoyable experience and stay safe.

The National Safety Council has some tips on how to keep kids safe when returning to school. They break it down into three sections: traveling to school, staying safe at school, and returning home from school.

Traveling to school - Children get to school in several ways. Buses, walking, bikes, scooters and getting dropped off by a parent are the most common methods.

Drivers should unload children in designated areas to avoid making them cross in front of traffic. If traveling to school on their own, make sure they stay on designated paths.

If your child walks to school, try to arrange walking with friends. This increases their visibility and reduces the chances of being approached by strangers. Also, know the route your child will take.

Staying safe while at school - If your child has food allergies, let the school know. Schools have programs in place to make sure children with allergies are protected. It can also help faculty respond in case of an emergency.

Take similar precautions for any health concerns by reaching out to the school before the year begins to create a plan with them.

Getting home from school safely - I lived near an elementary school for three years and the worst time to drive out of the neighborhood was when school was letting out.

There were hundreds of children, dozens of buses, and lines of cars. It was reminiscent of a Marvel Avengers battle scene.

If your child rides the bus home, make sure he or she knows which bus to ride. If there’s a problem, ask a teacher for help.

If you or a family friend is picking up your child, arrange a daily meeting point. In a sea of children, setting a place to meet will make the process easier, quicker and safer.

If your child walks home, make sure he or she walks with friends or neighbors if possible.