Monthly e-Tip: School Safety for Children
As school starts again it is important we educate our children on personal safety, as well as remind them to take caution when traveling to and from school. The Bakersfield Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit recommends the following practices for child safety.
On and Around the Bus
· Keep your backpack or other belongings in your lap, on your arm, or between your feet. Do not leave them on an empty seat.
· Avoid displaying expensive looking watches, rings, necklaces, or other jewelry. Don’t invite trouble.
- Don’t let yourself doze off on a bus, or become too engrossed in a book. It can make you an easy target.
- Always stand four giant steps back from the curb.
- When lining up, make your line away from the street and never walk behind the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the driver before picking it up. Make yourself visible to the bus driver.
Walking to and from School
- Plan out a safe route to school with your parents.
- NEVER take short cuts.
- Always take the same way home from school.
- Children should not walk next to curbs.
- Use the buddy system – NEVER walk alone.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street.
- If you ride a bicycle, ALWAYS wear a helmet--it’s the law.
- Never accept rides or gifts from someone you don’t know.
- Ask your parents about safe places you can go in your neighborhood in an emergency, like a trusted neighbor’s house.
- Be alert to what’s going on around them.
At School and Play
- Walk and play with friends, not alone. Avoid places that could be dangerous (vacant buildings, alleys, new construction, wooded areas, etc.)
- Take the safest routes to and from school, stores, and friend’s houses.
- Avoid strangers who may hang around playgrounds, public restrooms, empty buildings, etc.
- Do not play alone on playgrounds.
- Do not wear expensive jewelry or clothing to school.
- Check in with a parent or trusted neighbor as soon as you arrive home from school, and let someone know if you are staying late at school.
- Settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons.
- Never take guns, knives or other weapons to school. Tell a school official immediately if another student is seen with a gun, knife or other weapon.
Bicycle Locking Do’s and Don’ts
- When unattended, bicycles should always be locked.
- The bicycle should be locked to an immovable object in a conspicuous, open, and well-lighted place. When locking the bicycle, at a minimum both wheels and the frame should be secured.
- If a “U” - Lock is used, position the bicycle frame and wheels so that as much open space as possible within the U-portion of the lock is filled or taken up. This makes it more difficult for a thief to use tools to attack the lock.
- If a “U” - Lock is used, and it has a keyway on the end of the crossbar, position the lock with its keyway towards the ground. This makes it harder for the thief to access the lock.
- Record all vital information for a bicycle: make, model, color, identifying marks, serial number, etc. Have this information readily available for the police in the event of a theft. This will increase the chance of recovery.
- Accessories that can be easily removed, like quick release wheels and seats, should also be secured by a locking mechanism.
- Don’t lock bicycles to a small tree, aluminum or wooden posts, or chain link fences. These items can be easily broken or cut.
- Don’t lock a bicycle to disability accessible ramps.
- Don’t lock a bicycle to itself (the front wheel locked to the frame). A thief can simply carry it away.
Parents should take the time to listen carefully to children’s fears and feelings about people or places that scare them, or make them feel uneasy. Tell children to trust their instincts. Complaints about bullies should also be taken seriously. For additional crime prevention tips please visit the National Crime Prevention Council (www.ncpc.org) or contact the Bakersfield Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 661-326-3053.
Have a happy and safe school year!