Making preparations to send children back to school can be a stressful time for parents. Re-implementing regular bedtime schedules, jotting down items to purchase such as school supplies, clothing and backpacks are a priority when August arrives. The next item on the list should be talking to kids about how to stay safe in a way they feel empowered and not frightened.
John Walsh, spokesperson and on-air talent for the Justice Network, is giving parents peace of mind and kids a boost of confidence with six back-to-school safety tips courtesy of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
According to NCMEC’s analysis of more than 10,000 abduction attempts, the majority of child abductions occur when the child is traveling to or from school between 2 pm and 7 pm.
“Going back to school can be both exciting and stressful. It’s also a time to be vigilant, with the majority of child abductions taking place to and from school or a school-related activity. The Justice Network and NCMEC are working hard to keep children safe and every parent and child can do their part by following these simple safety steps,” said Walsh.
- Walk or drive the route to and from school with children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they need help.
- Remind children not to play alone outside, to take a friend whenever they walk or bike to school and to stay with a group when going on outings.
- Caution children never to accept a ride from anyone unless you have told them it is OK to do so in each instance.
- Teach children to check in with you if there is a change of plans.
- Establish a central, easy-to-locate spot during family outings to meet should you get separated.
- Teach children how to locate help in public places. Identify people they can ask for help such as uniformed law enforcement/security guards and store clerks with nametags.
The Justice Network is a 24/7 broadcast television network that entertains and informs its viewers with gripping crime and investigation programming while making communities safer through its unprecedented public service commitment.