Back-to-school season brings a pile of anxieties and logistics that can make even the coolest parent lose their head. Above carpool schedules, allergy-compliant lunches, and packing the right gym shoes, your child’s safety is probably the very last thing you want to stress over.
If you have a young school-age child that needs to walk home, ride the bus, or is simply looking forward to a little bit of after-school freedom, it’s important to establish a safety checklist. Read on for this year’s top after-school safety tips.
1) Know Your Child’s Route
If your child walks home from school, or takes the school bus, learn the route they’ll be taking every day. If walking, accompany your child the first few times so you can establish kid-friendly crossings. If riding the bus, have an idea of how long the route should take on an average day.
Using a GPS tracker for kids like Jiobit makes knowing your child's route a piece of cake. If using a Jiobit, the Timeline feature provides 7 days of detailed location history, and the ability to track their movements in real-time.
2) Coordinate Care and Teach Stranger Awareness
While most reports of missing or abducted children are resolved within hours and involve acquaintances or family members, we know how alarming these reports can feel when you have a young child.
Rather than instilling fear of strangers, consider teaching these awareness tips to your child:
- Share a “safety password” with your child that is only used by adults authorized to pick them up from school
- Know emergency contacts, where you work, and your full name
- Encourage them to ask for help from a trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable
A GPS tracking device such as Jiobit allows you to add care providers or family members to your account so they can help monitor your child's location. Adding your trusted friends and family to your Care Team will not only tell you where your child is, but you also will know who they are with.
3) Share Emergency Numbers
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids don’t usually need constant adult supervision beginning around ages 11 or 12. Even so, sharing emergency numbers in a very visible place and encouraging kids to call for help when hurt or in danger will ensure they can reach a trusted adult or emergency team when they need one.
Experts suggest having the following numbers on hand:
- Emergency medical services - this is usually 911, but your community may have its own number
- Poison Control Center
- Parents’ work
- Parents’ cell phones
- Neighbors and/or relatives
Jiobit’s SOS Mode puts you in touch with an on-call emergency dispatcher. If your child needs an emergency responder, you can send Jiobit’s location details and relevant personal information directly to the 911 Emergency Dispatch team.
4) Establish Safe Areas
If your child needs help, kid-friendly “safe areas” might include a neighbor’s house, a public library, an after-school program, or a police station. Encourage your child to know where they can find a helpful and trusted adult, or even where a dependable authority figure can help intervene in case of an emergency. Write down a list of safe places to share with your child for critical events such as getting locked out of the house, or when they are not able to reach you in a time of need.
With the Jiobit GPS tracker, you can create Trusted Places in the app to be notified when they arrive and leave safe areas such as home, school, grandma’s house, wherever you may choose.
Looking for more safety tips? Check out the safety section of our blog to learn more from the experts. Feel like you’re an expert yourself? Tweet us @jiobit with your after-school safety recommendations!