With the back to school season looming, mask mandates and keeping kids safe from COVID-19 aren’t the only issues parents should be talking about. Safety Expert and Director of Training at Safe Defend, Doug Parisi says having conversations about how kids can stay safe and protect themselves at school is also critical.
“The biggest thing is that parents are afraid to have these conversations and they really need to ask kids what the drill they went through …so they have a good understanding of what is happening and so that they have a good understanding of what they can reinforce at home,” he says.
Conversations about school safety can be uncomfortable but Parisi says regardless of your child’s age, there are easy ways to breach tough topics likes this.
For elementary school students, Parisi says that having the conversation to begin with, is the single most important thing any parent can do. He also advises parents to encourage children to talk about what the plan is at their respective school. Reassuring kids and keeping communication open about uncomfortable conversations is a key part to keeping them safe in scary situations.
Parents of middle school and high school students should not only discuss options when situations arise, but encourage older kids to think about a “what if” plan. “When no other options exist, your student should know that they are justified in protecting themselves at all costs,” Parisi adds.
College students are not immune to these situations and parents should encourage their children to use and register for emergency notifications through their respective campuses, Parisi adds. He also advises college students to check out their campus buildings and learn more about the emergency exits of each building.
“Review your campus safety procedures and understand how you can protect yourself. Most colleges allow certain types of personal protection devices. If you feel comfortable carrying one of these devices you should obtain it and always carry it with you. Having an individual first aid kit on your person can save lives too.”
For more tips to help keep your kids safe this school year, visit SafeDefend.com.