|School starting means kids and parents are coming and going even more … and creates an opportunity for you to help. Now more than ever, you can deliver convenience, added security, and worry-free days with our video solutions
Smarter, Safer Homes
With our video solutions packages, and our free app, you provide a solution to make parents’ lives easier and the ability to:
- Receive an alert when children arrive home
- Confirm doors have been locked
- Know when their system is armed/disarmed
- Visually check in during snack or homework time
- Ensure students left or arrived home on time
- See and speak to front-door visitors, letting them know an adult is watching and aware
- Keep an eye on pets who might be alone for longer periods of time now
- Set up text alerts for when sensitive areas are accessed, such as medicine, liquor and gun cabinets or a swimming pool
- Lock doors, turn off lights, or close the garage if a young student forgot
The Opportunity to Connect
What busy parent couldn’t use extra eyes or a helping hand? Now’s the perfect time to share your knowledge. Take advantage of back-to-school events, from open houses or back-to-school night to the start of school sports, to connect with parents and share our many security and smart home solutions.
Keep Kids Secure at Home
Follow these suggested rules to help keep kids who are home alone secure and provide you peace of mind.
- Identify a trusted neighbor or emergency contact for you and your child to reach if things don’t go as planned. In addition to a neighbor, consider a nearby relative or even a co-worker in case your child can’t reach you. Keep contact information for school representatives with you as well, such as your child’s principal or the bus/transportation department.
- Stay aware when arriving home. Teach your child to assess your home before entering. If something looks off, such as a torn screen, open door, or broken window, he or she should not enter and should go to a neighbor’s to call you or the authorities. If your home is protected by a monitored alarm system, make sure your child knows what to do if the system sounds and an alarm dispatcher calls.
- Keep all doors closed and locked. Remind your child that even “bad” guys can look nice or impersonate professionals we should trust, such as utility workers or emergency personnel. And, anyone can be convincing, with stories of lost pets or car trouble. For these reasons, enforce a strict rule of never opening the door to anyone. Have children follow our tips for staying safe when strangers knock or have your child call you or a neighbor if someone comes to the door. Front door security cameras and text notifications also can help you confirm who stopped by..
- Schedule a check in. It’s easier than ever to call, send a text or wave to your security camera. Set a time for this check in to happen every day. Homeowners with wireless security installed and an alarm monitoring app can have notifications sent that show video of a child entering the home or when a door is opened or closed. (Is there a sensitive area of your home that shouldn’t be accessed when you’re not home, such as swimming pool or cabinet? Notifications can be sent if someone enters those areas too.)
- Establish a routine. When everyone knows what to expect and what’s normal, it helps to maintain safety. Outline together the route home, time of arrival and check in routine. Have agreed upon snacks, chores, or homework plans plus downtime for them to relax safely after school. In the event of an emergency or a lost child, knowing the daily route and routine can help authorities.
- Discuss kitchen safety and more. Unfortunately, potential dangers come in many forms. When considering the safety of your children, remember hazards such as falls or burns. Discuss safe food options and make a plan for having healthy snacks available, within easy reach. Carefully consider the ages of your children before allowing heated snacks to be prepared.
- Plan for emergencies and any unforeseen situations. Keep emergency numbers by the phone, and make sure your children know your address and when to call 911. Discuss what to do during an emergency or unexpected event. Role play situations and outline steps they should take if a storm approaches, the power goes out, you get stuck in traffic, etc.
- Set rules for the phone. If you allow your child to answer the phone, teach him or her what to do if someone asks for a parent. Have your child share that you are busy at the moment and can’t come to the phone. A child should never share that he or she is alone or a parent is not home.
School Zone Driving Safety Tips
- Be on the lookout for school zone signals and ALWAYS obey the speed limits.
- When entering a school zone, be sure to slow down and obey all traffic laws.
- Always stop for school busses that are loading or unloading children.
- Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
- Be aware of and watch out for children near schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the streets, in school parking lots, etc.
- Never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone.
- Never change lanes while driving in a school zone.
- Never make U-Turns while driving in a school zone.
- Never text while driving in a school zone.
- Avoid using a cell phone, unless it is completely hands-free, while driving in a school zone.
- Unless licensed to do so, never use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school.
Riding Your Bike to School
- Check with the school to make sure your child is allowed to ride their bicycle to school. Some schools do not allow students to ride bicycles to school until they reach a specific grade.
- Make sure your child always wears a bicycle helmet! Failure to wear one could result in a traffic citation. Furthermore, in the event of an accident, helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.
- Obey the rules of the road; the rules are the same for all vehicles, including bicycles.
- Always stay on the right-hand side of the road and ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Be sure your child know and uses all of the appropriate hand signals.
- Choose the safest route between home and school and practice it with children until they can demonstrate traffic safety awareness.
- If possible, try to ride with someone else. There is safety in numbers.
- MA supervisor must always be present when children are at the school’s playground. Make sure your school has someone who monitors the playgrounds at all times.
- Playground equipment should be surrounded by shock-absorbing material that is at least nine inches thick.
- Protective surfaces should extend six feet in all directions around the playground equipment. For swings, it should extend twice the height of the set.
- Due to strangulation hazards, do not attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords of any kind to playground equipment.
- Be watchful of sharp edges or points on equipment.
- Alert the school if you notice anything strange about the playground equipment at your child’s school.
- Spaces that can trap children, such as openings between ladder rungs, should measure less than three and a half inches or more than nine inches.
- All elevated surfaces, such as ramps, should have guardrails to prevent falls.
Walking to School
- Leave early enough to arrive at school at least 10 minutes prior to the start of school.
- Use the same route every day and never use shortcuts.
- Go straight home after school. Do not go anywhere else without permission.
- Always use public sidewalks and streets when walking to school.
- Demonstrate traffic safety awareness and pick the safest route between your home and the school and practice walking it with your children.
- Try and walk to school with other students. There is strength in numbers.
- Teach your children to recognize and obey traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings.
- Only cross streets at designated crosswalks, street corners and traffic controlled intersections.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street and never enter streets from between obstacles like parked cars, shrubbery, signs, etc.
- Always walk and never run across intersections.
- Avoid talking to strangers. Teach your children to get distance between themselves and anyone who tries to approach or make contact with them.
- If a stranger does approach your child, make sure they know to immediately report the incident to you or a teacher.
- Teach your children to never get into a vehicle with anyone, even if they know them, without your permission.
Clothing and School Supplies
- To prevent injury, backpacks should have wide straps, padding in the back and shoulders, and should not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of a child’s body weight.
- When placing items in a backpack, place the heavier items in first. The closer the heavier items are to a child’s back, the less strain it will cause.
- Children should use both backpack straps and all compartments for even distribution of weight.
- Remove drawstrings from jackets, sweatshirts, and hooded shirts to reduce the risk of strangulation injuries.
- Art supplies in the classroom should always be child safe and non-toxic. Be sure they have “CONFORMS TO ASTM D-4236” on their packaging.
- Make sure your child’s school is up-to-date on the latest recalled children’s products and toys.
School Bus Safety
- Make habit of arriving at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus.
- Make sure your child stays out of the street and avoids excessive horseplay while waiting for the school bus.
- Be sure the bus comes to a complete stop before getting on or off.
- When riding the bus, make sure your child understands they must remain seated and keep their head and arms inside the bus at all times.
- Do not shout or distract the driver.
- Do not walk in the driver’s “blind spot” — this is the area from the front of the bus to about 10 feet in front of the bus.
Increase Crosswalk, Bus Stop, and Neighborhood Safety
Follow these tips for helping students safely get to and from school.
- Review the route to school or bus stop plan. Team with other students and parents to map out the safest route and agree on rules for staying safe. Some basics: Have your child carry your contact information. Avoid empty lots or alleys. Walk in pairs or groups. Know what to do if an adult approaches in a car or on foot. Don’t wear headphones or play games while walking or riding. Bike helmets are a must, and a whistle can come in handy to attract attention if needed.For more tips, the National Child Safety Council and Safe Kids Worldwide have resources and guidelines on a variety of topics, including school bus safety, bicycle safety, drug prevention, and more.
- Talk to your children about their roles and responsibilities. Remind them that others will be watching out for them but they need to watch out for themselves too. Drivers can sometimes be distracted, so your child needs to stay alert and aware of surroundings. For example, make eye contact with drivers before crossing a crosswalk, and avoid headphones or playing on a device along the way.
- It’s OK to be cautious. Don’t feel guilty or overprotective if you watch until your child gets safely into the school (no matter how long the drop off line is). If something doesn’t feel right, take steps to help make you and your child more comfortable (see the next tip). Also, be aware that states vary in their notification methods related to Megan’s Law, but you should have access to a local sexual offender registry. Conduct an online search or ask your law enforcement office about your area.
- Speak up and share concerns. Most schools have specific notification systems in place as well as security measures for the school day, including students’ arrival and departure times. Are school crossings adequate? Would you receive a call if your child is absent? If you have concerns about or ideas for improving these measures, visit with school administrators so everyone feels comfortable and knows what to expect. A team approach can go a long way in keeping kids safe.
- Encourage open communications. Make sure children know they can come to you or another trusted adult if something is wrong, from bus stop bullies to an unknown adult hanging around the neighborhood. If something doesn’t feel right, encourage them to talk to you without fear and to understand that their concerns are important and matter.
We know that parents wireless remote home security options and video cameras rest a little easier, having the ability to stay connected, peek in, and receive visual verification of their children’s safe arrival. However, following these tips can help keep everyone safe and should become a part of your back-to-school checklist.