Back to School Do’s and Don’ts!
It’s that time of year where every parent’s brain switches to Back to School mode. It seems like there is so much to do, and so little time! New backpacks, haircuts, and smartphones are on your mind. But is safety and security on your radar? Here are a few “do’s and don’ts” to refresh everyone’s memory for the next few weeks.
1. DO give yourself plenty of extra time, at least for the first few days of the new school year. There will be many new pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on the roads, crosswalks and sidewalks. Kids can be unpredictable, especially when everything is new and exciting. DO SLOWDOWN and avoid distractions, keep your eyes on the road.
2. DO remember that the fines and laws for passing school buses has changed. Drivers can be charged if they pass a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing: First offence: $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points. Each following offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demerit points and possible jail time (up to six months)
3. If you are dropping off kids at the school, pack some patience and ample time. DON’T double park and block others field of vision. DON’T block crosswalks and DON’T load or unload children across the street from the school, avoid having your kids walk between cars and buses. DO walk to school or Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.
4. Don’t Break Safety Rules Because You’re Late. Whipping your car around, getting your child to dash out of the car to reach the classroom before the school bell rings, or encouraging a “drop-and-dash” drop-off is the recipe for disaster in terms of child safety. You would rather your child receive a tardy notice than to be in an accident. Also, don’t use your cell phone in a school zone. It is a major distraction.
5. School buses will be back in circulation, it’s important to remember the rules around buses. DON’T pass a school bus when the lights are flashing. In any case, always proceed with caution around school buses.
6. Every year we hear of kids getting on the wrong school bus or getting lost on the first days of school. DO have your kids memorize home phone #’s and addresses. DO write your cell phone # on the inside of backpacks and kid’s jackets. Let your kids know where they can find this information and let them know it’s okay to share it with teachers, bus drivers, etc., if they are lost or confused.
7. DO consider Smart Locks for a door on your home, so your kids are reliant on keys. Many Smart Locks can be set to lock automatically, and some can send notifications when used. DON’T hide keys or leave back doors unlocked.
8. DO set your alarm system with a unique user code for your kids. This will help avoid false alarms, and can provide you with notifications when your kids leave and arrive home.
9. DO consider installing cameras inside your home and at your front door. Most camera systems can be set to send alerts to your smart phone and allow for livestreaming. It’s a great way to check in and see if the kids have arrived home safely. Many cameras also contain microphones for audio recording and listening as an added feature.
And here is a handy school year school year calendar for 2019-2012.