Host: What can parents do to help their children learn safer ways to and from school?
Nancy McBride: Parents and guardians can do a lot to help their kids learn safer ways to and from school by actually taking the route with them whether they are walking on the side ways or the child is riding their bike making sure that the child understands what all the rules are, where they should walk, where they should ride their bike. If the child takes a bus, make sure the child knows the bus number and take your child to the bus stop ahead of time, so no mistakes will be made. We have all heard stories where kids have gotten on a wrong bus and end up at the very of the route. We want to avoid that. We want to make sure that kids are on the right bus, they know where the bus comes, they know what to do if anybody approaches them at the bus stop, and they know to stay together. We do not want kids walking or riding alone. We want them to be with groups of other kids, Certainly adult supervision is a great idea. Again, perpetrators look for access and opportunity and that kid who is alone has more of a chance of being approached, because there is nobody around to help them. So, make sure kids understand that, that if they have to leave school early for reason or plans change in some way that they let the parent or guardian know; they tell that trusted adult, they make arrangements maybe somebody will have to come and pick the child up. It s important that the child knows that person, its important that the parent or guardian has made those arrangements ahead of time, so we do not leave kids without safety nets. We want to make sure that there is always a backup plan and that the child understands who the appropriate people are and when it is okay to go with them.