What would you do if you are approached by someone on the way to school?
Following these tips can help keep you and your friends safe.
Use the Buddy System
- Whether you're walking to and from school or waiting at a bus stop, having a buddy can help you stay safe.
- Your buddy can be a friend from school, an older sibling or an adult approved by your parents.
- Be a good buddy. Help your buddy to make good choices and stay away from people you don't know.
- Never accept a ride home or go anywhere without permission from your parents.
Avoid Dangerous Situations
- Don't accept candy, food or presents from people you don't know.
- Don't stop to play around adults or older children you don't know.
- Always keep a safe distance from traffic and people in cars.
- Adults should not ask children they don't know for help such as finding a lost pet or directions.
- If a person calls your over to his/her car, back away.
Run, Scream and Fight
- If a person tries to get you in the car, turn and run away.
- Always fight back to get away from a person who tries to take you.
- Yell loud enough to attract attention and scare the person away. People will help if they know you are in trouble.
- Run home as fast as you can. You can also go to a friend's house, back to school or to another safe place.
Show and Tell
- If someone hurts you or tries to take you, tell a trusted adult what happened.
- If the bus is there, get on board and tell the driver what happened. If you walk to school, tell your teacher, bus patrol or principal.
- Show your parents, school administrator or police where the person tried to take you and any injuries that you received while getting away.
Safety Begins at Home
- If you are at home alone, keep all the doors locked. Don't open the door unless it is for your parents or someone else who takes care of you.
- Don't tell anyone that you are home alone.
- Don't tell people online your full name, address, phone number or where you go to school.
- Make sure you ask your parents before you leave the house or if your plans change.
Tips for Parents
Here are a few additional tips on how to keep your child safe:
- If your child misses the school bus, tell him/her not to accept a ride from anyone not pre-approved by you as a backup.
- If your family uses a code word, it should be difficult to guess and changed after each use.
- Help your child plan the best route to take when walking to school. Never use shortcuts.
- Help monitor the bus stop or arrange for other parents to monitor it.
- Report any suspicious people or vehicles hanging around the bus stop.
- If your child walks to school, consider starting a walking school bus for your neighborhood.
- Require your child to let you know where they are at all times and call you when they arrive.
- Tell your child to run away from anyone who tries to take him/her, even if the person has a weapon.
- Help your child locate safe places they can go if they are in trouble.
- Teach your child how to spot trouble and avoid dangerous situations.
- Teach your child how to describe people and vehicles.
- Ask your child to let you know about anything that seems suspicious.
- Emphasize to your child that they should never hitchhike or get in a car with someone they don't know.
With your parents permission, you can learn more about ways to stay safe by visiting these websites: