Tag Archives: school

Spring Break Is in Session! Ensure Safe Travels for Your College Student this Vacation

Believe it or not, spring break season has started. Yes, snow is falling in certain parts of the country, but colleges are already releasing their students for the week-long break. Some students may be headed to warmer weather and vacation destinations, while others are just coming home for a much-needed rest. Whatever the case, before your college-age child wraps up their studies and heads out on a trip, you may want to give them a few travel safety tips to study as well.

Be Prepared
When traveling as a family when I was a kid, I used to ask my mother to make a packing list for me so that I wouldn’t forget anything. Since then, if I do not make a packing list beforehand I will most likely forget one of the most basic items. (I have forgotten to pack socks. Socks.) Tell your child to write down or type up everything they need to remember to bring with them, and then have someone else look over the list for something they might have missed. This is especially important for common-sense items that you may not even think you have to write down, such as phone chargers or passports. Before they head out the door for the week, have your child go item by item through the list to make sure there won’t be any emergency pit-stops on the way home from the airport.

Keep an Eye Out
While keeping track of your belongings while traveling may seem like an unnecessary reminder, college kids can be scatterbrained and may be distracted by something particularly engaging on their phone or in a book. Suggest they hook a backpack or purse strap around one of their legs while sitting and waiting to board a flight or bus. That way, if anyone grabs their bag, they will know, plus they won’t forget it. Keeping a purse strap on their arm, and not leaving their phone sitting on a table can also prevent losing anything they worked so hard to pack up. Another area to keep an eye on is public Wi-Fi. While many airports, bus terminals and train stations provide customers with Wi-Fi, that can make devices vulnerable to hackers. Suggest to your child that they use a VPN whenever possible if they need to connect to free Internet access.

Know and Share the Route
Be it the trip to the airport, the bus connections, or the driving route home, make sure your child knows their travel plans before they actually head out—and that they share those plans with you. Remind them that they can’t always rely on their phone’s GPS! Service gets lost and sometimes a phone gets a location wrong. In addition to your child knowing how they’re getting home, encourage them to tell a friend about their route too, so if anything were to go awry, someone closer to your student may be able to help sooner than you. If possible, ask your child to share their phone’s location with you and a friend so either of you can keep track of their progress during the journey.

Speaking of Phones…
Most importantly, make sure they keep their phone charger on them and keep in contact with you! I once forgot to bring my phone charger with me to the airport, and thankfully had my laptop with me to message with the family member picking me up. Imagine if I hadn’t had any other devices, or if my laptop had also died!? Payphones are not as prevalent as they used to be, and not everyone carries change with them. Your child should, at the very least, let you know when they arrive at a new destination, such as the bus station or a rest stop on their drive.

Here’s hoping their spring break actually looks like spring, and the weather warms up for a well-needed rest from classes and cold. As for you as the parent, brace yourself. It doesn’t matter where the final destination is, college kids are still kids and may need a little extra assistance from you with their travel plans. Once they arrive, be prepared for their ridiculous appetites and sleep schedules, and appreciate that they got wherever they were going safely.

Safety for School Days: 9 Rules for Safer Travels to and from School

Although we no longer have kids living at home, and the first day back to school is now on college campuses without mom needed (or wanted) to send anyone off, I still see all the first day of school pictures posted by friends on social media. And that reminds me once again of the importance of safety rules for kids getting to and from school.

No matter the age of your children, if they are going to and from school, they need some rules. And the sooner you instill those rules in them, the sooner the rules will become habits—habits that can last a lifetime.

To get you started, we offer nine rules for safer travels to and from school below:

Rule 1: Stick to the sidewalk
For those kids who walk to the bus stop or to school, they need to stay on the sidewalk. No walking out behind cars or in the road, or even in people’s yards. The sidewalk is there for a reason. Stay on it.

Rule 2: Avoid shortcuts
Shortcuts are a no no. Your kids should take the same route every day, and walk with other kids whenever possible. Talk to other parents with kids taking the same route to get all the kids traveling as a group, even if they’re just walking to the bus stop up the street.

Rule 3: Be careful when crossing the street
Kids are kids and, at any age, they can be careless when crossing the street. Remind your kids to look both ways, make eye contact with the drivers of the cars they assume are going to stop for them, and use crosswalks. Then remind them again.

Rule 4: Put the phone away!
Kids really should put their phones away when going to and from school. If they don’t, they are more likely to be distracted and step out into traffic, trip and fall, or not notice suspicious activity. If they are teenagers who drive, they most definitely should not be on their phones! Kids can send you a text when they leave the school, put their phones in their backpacks, and then pull their phones out to let you know they’re home. Period.

Rule 5: Stay safe at the bus stop
For kids who taking bus, the rule is to stay in the designated bus stop area. After school, they should go directly from the bus stop to their home or their daycare.

Rule 6: Don’t be too early
Although teaching kids to try to arrive early to events is a good habit to teach, many schools don’t have supervision outside the building until shortly before the school day starts. That leaves kids who arrive really early unsupervised by adults. Teach kids early is good, but too early is not safe, and have a designated time for your child’s arrival, when you know the school will either be open or have supervision.

Rule 7: No dawdling
Also make sure your kids know not to dawdle after school. They need to head straight to their next destination, whether that’s home, practice, daycare or somewhere else.

Rule 8: Know the rules of the road
For kids who ride their bikes to school and those who drive, reiterate the safety rules of each.

Rule 9: Have a password
Especially for younger kids, have a password. That password would be used if someone had to pick up your child unexpectedly, say if you were in an accident, for example. If your child is approached by a stranger who claims you sent them, the child should be taught to ask for the password. If the stranger doesn’t know it, the child should be taught to yell for help.

These days it seems fewer kids walk to school because parents are driving them in cars. But kids are still getting to and from school, and still need safety rules for doing so. And since the rules can apply to almost any situation, consider making one of the first lessons of this school year safety first.

When May Means Graduation, Give Gifts to Keep Them Safe

May has definitely become the month that kicks off graduation season, with both May and June seemingly full of elementary kids moving up to middle school, and middle school to high school, and then high graduates going off the college and college graduates going off to life! Oh my!

If you have friends or family moving into a next life stage—with a transition into or out of college—consider giving gifts that put safety first, because it’s an uncertain world out there. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be a suit of armor or anything overly pricey. There are several ways you can give the gift of safety and security with ease…

For the kids headed to college in the fall For those graduates heading off college dorms, look for gifts at DormSmart.com. They sell “dorm room essentials” and have a section of their website focused on safety and security, including both items for sale and helpful hints. (Read more about dorm safety and security here.)

For those who will be driving, consider car safety kits, or this emergency preparedness backpack kit sold by the Red Cross. Other good ideas include gift cards for car maintenance or oil changes, so they can prepare their cars for the road trips to and fro.

For the kids headed out into the world
Not all kids are headed to college. Some will be entering the military while others go straight into the workforce (an increasingly popular choice these days). And even those going off to college won’t necessarily live in a dorm, as many choose apartments instead. (If you’ve ever had dorm food or tried to sleep in a building full of immature 18-year-olds away from home for the first time, you might not blame them!)

For those new graduates who are moving into an apartment or a home of their own, an emergency preparedness kit like the one mentioned above makes a great gift. Or pull together a few basic items they probably won’t have, like flashlights and batteries and a hand-cranked radio, and make a gift basket with those. Or make a gift basket with canned good and a can opener, in case the power goes out. These can be very clever but very useful gifts, because they help prepare the new graduate for an emergency but also get them thinking about being prepared.

And of course either the car safety kit or the emergency backpack mentioned above make great gifts for your new graduate, no matter where they are headed.

More than anything else, however, make sure you talk to them about staying safe and secure. It is a scary world out there. Talk to them about intangibles like identify theft and password concerns. Be honest with them about the importance of staying safe on campus or while out at night. Prevention really is worth a pound of cure, and their schooling probably didn’t teach them how to stay safe in the first place. So now’s your chance…

Travel Tips for Teens: Ensuring Safe Travels for Your Homeward-Bound College Student

It’s only May, but summer vacation is about to start for college students across the country, and that means teen travel, as they pack up and head home to eat everything in sight, sleep for 12 straight hours a day, and make huge piles of dirty laundry until it’s time to go back to school in the fall.

Kids at this age are somewhere between children and adults, and their commonsense hasn’t necessarily matured to the point we might prefer as they set off to make their journeys home. If you’re driving to the dorm to help them pack up and get home, you probably won’t have much to worry about. But many parents have kids going to school out-of-the-area (including me!), and it will take more than a car ride to get them home. For those kids, review these teen travel safety precautions with them, before they start that trek and end up on your doorstep.

Traveling by plane, train or bus
If your student will be traveling by plane, train or bus, make sure all arrangements are made well in advance. You don’t want to purchase a ticket only to find out your child never arranged for transportation to the airport or station, or that they didn’t know they needed to get there an hour before departure time. You’ll probably also need to work around dorm checkout times and your child’s finals, and make sure travel times fit with those.

Also review basic safety tips with your college student, including things like don’t leave their bags unattended, always keep their purse or wallet close to by their sides, be aware of people bumping into them or trying to distract them, keep their photo ID and boarding pass with them at all times, sit in crowded rather than isolated waiting areas, make sure their contact information is inside of their bags in case of lost luggage, and look up from that darn phone so they’re aware of their surroundings.

Traveling by car
If your child is driving home from school or getting a ride, you don’t have fewer worries—only different ones.

Ideally, before they even left for school last fall, you made sure they know how to check the tire pressure, fill the washer fluid, and make sure all brake lights, headlights and blinkers are working. In addition to reminding them about those pre-travel checks, encourage them to get an oil change before the trip—maybe even send them a gift card for that purpose.

It’s not only the car that must be made ready, however, it’s the child too. Review the route with them. Make sure they plan to drive only during the day, with a plan to stop every couple of hours to stretch their legs. Really stress the dangers of driving while sleepy, and, of course, make sure they know not to text and drive!

No matter how they’re traveling, charge that cell phone!
Regardless of the plane, train, bus or car that will bring your student home for the summer, make sure they leave with a fully charged phone, and that they have a power cord for charging along the way. Stress that there is no excuse for a dead phone while traveling. At all. Period.

Now, go make that bed, stock those cupboards, prep that laundry room, and get ready to welcome that hardworking student home for a summer of much-needed rest!

It’s Never too Early to Start Teaching Safety Habits—Start With These 8

With school back in session, the past month has probably been full of buying new school clothes, stocking up on essentials like pencils and notebook paper, and at least one trip to the store for an important piece of a school project put off until the last minute (because that’s how kids roll).

But despite all of the new school year tasks, keeping our kids safe is as important as ever, and it’s never too early to instill (or reiterate) good safety habits. To make sure your child’s safety precautions aren’t tucked in the back of their closet with their summer sandals, take some time to review these eight safety tips with them, to keep your children safe all throughout the school day—from the beginning to the end.

Getting to school

  • Don’t be too early: Most schools have a set time when there will be supervision in the building, on the playground, and even in the parking lot. If your child walks or is driven to school, make sure they arrive after this time, as any child who arrives earlier is at risk since they could be unsupervised and even possibly alone.
  • Stay safe at the bus stop: For children who take the bus, stress the importance of staying in the designated bus stop area. Wandering off could mean missing the bus, and running around chasing other kids could lead to injuries.
  • Stick to the sidewalk: Remind your children to stay on the sidewalks and crosswalks—and out of the road—and to be paying attention to where they’re walking. A phone is a common distraction, and looking down playing a game on a smartphone could mean running into another person or crossing the street without looking both ways. Maybe make it a rule that the phone is in their pockets until they get to the school property. This applies as much before they get on the bus as when they get off, if they’re not walking to school.

At school

  • Lock your locker: Whether your child carries everything in their backpack, stores belongings in a cubby, or has access to a locker in the hallway, be sure that valuables are being left at home. If your child’s school has lockers, teach them to lock their locker every time they use it, even if all that gets left inside is their lunch and jacket. An unlocked locker could mean an empty stomach later in the day if someone has the opportunity to steal that brown paper bag (or really cool Spiderman lunchbox!).
  • Gather all belongings before leaving the classroom: Even without a locker, everything brought into a classroom should leave the classroom with your child. Jackets, books, homework assignments, even a cell phone could get lost if left behind during the next period. Remind them to pack everything up before moving on to their next class or leaving for the day.

Leaving school

  • Have a password: Especially for your younger kids, mutually agree on a password that someone would have to use to pick up your child unexpectedly. Teach your child to ask anyone who says they were sent to pick them up for that password. Remind them not just to ask strangers, but even family friends or relatives who should know the password if you sent them. If your child is traveling to or from school and someone claims they are there to pick up your child but they don’t know the password, teach your child to yell for help.
  • Don’t dawdle: Taking extra time to talk to friends on the playground or hanging out in the parking lot could mean missing the bus or getting home or to daycare late. Set a schedule with your child of when they need to leave the school and when they need to arrive at their after-school destination so if they don’t arrive it’s not because they hung around school too long, and you’ll know it’s time to worry.
  • Tell only parents when home alone: If your child gets home and you aren’t there, make sure they communicate with you and only you. Remind them not to answer the phone and say their parents aren’t around, and not to post on any social media that they’ve got the house to themselves. This includes not telling friends, as information is easily broadcast with today’s social networks.

The age of your kids, where you live, and how your kids get to and from school will all influence the kinds of safety and security measures you’ll need to take as the new school year continues on its way. Taking these safety steps can help ensure your child stays safe and you stay sane…and instill personal safety habits that will last a lifetime.

Home Alone Again? Guidelines for Setting Expectations When Kids Are Home Without You

Although the number of latchkey kids has dropped dramatically in recent years, there are still kids coming home to empty houses, if not every day, at least on occasion. Those days of kids home alone can be particularly stressful for the parents. Yet parents can worry a little less if they can be sure they’ve gone over rules and scenarios with their children in advance. But what should those rules be? What unknowns should be covered?

Every family has a different situation with kids of varying ages and capabilities, so it’s unreasonable to make a set list of rules or guidelines that every family adheres to. However, we can suggest what your agreement might include, based on research and personal experience.

Here’s our summation below. Perhaps your family can draw on these suggestions to create a written document that parents and kids agree to and sign, to make sure everyone is clear on expectations and no one can claim “I didn’t know.”

  • Being on time: If your child has a tendency to dawdle on the way home from school, you might want to have a set time by which they need to be home and checking in with you.
  • Checking in: In what way should your child let you know they are home?
  • Neighbors: Which neighbors can/should your child go to and under what circumstances?
  • Protocol: Once your child is home, what should the safety routine be? It might be lock the door, set the alarm, turn on the porch light, put the dog out, and let mom/dad know they’re home, for example.
  • The thermostat: Is your child allowed to turn the heat or air conditioning up or down?
  • Doors and windows: Can any doors or windows be left open on hot days or for another reason?
  • Kitchen: What is your child allowed to do in the kitchen? Use the microwave? The stove? What are the expectations about cleaning up after?
  • If something goes wrong: What should your child do if there’s an emergency? Where should they go? Whom should they call? What counts as an emergency?
  • Chores and homework: Which chores are to be done and by when? What are the expectations around homework?
  • Fun: Is your child allowed to go to a friend’s? Can a friend come over? What are the rules regarding video games or computer time, or even time spent screwing around on their phones?

In addition, make sure you have all necessary phone numbers printed out and easy to find, like next to the phone or on the refrigerator. I don’t know about your kids, but mine are constantly telling me their phone died, so they need access to phone numbers without their cell phones too, just in case.

Also hold yourself accountable as the parent. If you’re going to be in a meeting and unavailable from say 3:30 to 4:00, for example, or you’re going to be late getting home from work, let them know. You’ll be giving your child peace of mind, but being a role model for how this arrangement should work as well.

And if your kids are sometimes home alone, now might be the right time to get a home security system, for more peace of mind than an agreement can provide.

Want to Keep Your College Kids Safe? Look to Their Phones

At our house, we have moved into that stage of life when everyone has graduated from high school and we have four kids out of five in college. One starts his freshman year today, another leaves for her second year this weekend, another is a graduate student and already settled on campus, and the fourth starts community college in mid-September. (Ironically, the oldest of the five is a teacher, so she’s busy with the new school year too!)

As the mom/step-mom of these kids, I have butterflies in my stomach for both good and bad reasons. Good because I am so excited for all of them and the paths they are on as they transition into adulthood, and bad because I officially can’t protect any of them any longer.

Which takes us to the topic of college safety, although this time around, I’m thinking of it from the viewpoint of both on- and off-campus housing, since we have two living in dorms this year and two living in apartments.

But whether they are living on-campus or off-, just starting out or working their way through grad school, there is one thing these kids have in common: They pack around smart phones. And we can put those phones to use to keep them safe.

It’s time to put those phones to good use!
Admittedly, the time to prepare your kids for being on their own is while they are growing up. It’s like teaching them to cook: If I haven’t done it yet, it’s too late now! However, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to reiterate what we’ve taught them when younger, and to add some college-specific advice now that they’ve transitioned to that phase. And after all those years of telling them to put away their phones, now we can say the opposite: Get out your phone.

Know whom to call and where to go
Every college should have some kind of campus safety office. Your kids should know where it is located, and the emergency phone number for after-hours should be loaded on their phones. Many schools also now have campus safety apps the kids can put on their phones, so they have instant access to help if they need it.

(Also encourage your kids to find out what safety services are offered, such as escorts who will make sure your child gets safely home late at night, as well as how to use them.)

Look for and download other safety apps
In addition to a college-specific safety apps your kids might be able to use via the school, check out the ones Mashable has featured as apps every student should download. In addition, the University of Arizona has a wealth of information on personal safety that you and your child can review together, including links to safety apps, as well as practical safety advice.

Beware phone as distraction
The only downside to encouraging your child’s use of their phone is the distraction of it. Kids walking across campus or home from work in the dark looking down at their phones will make easy targets. Teach them the importance of being aware of their surroundings wherever they are. They should have their phones handy in case there is trouble. But their eyes should be up and looking ahead and around. Always. In addition, only one ear bud should be in their ears at any given time so they can hear someone coming up behind them.

And if they lose that phone…
Encourage your kids to have important phone numbers written down or printed out and then stored in a safe location, just in case they lose that phone or it gets stolen. In addition, as the parent, you might want to get the phone number of your child’s roommate in case you can’t reach your child due to a lost phone. If you don’t know the phone is lost, only that you can get hold of your child, you will worry, guaranteed, and your mind will make up scenarios that are much worse than a missing phone!

And speaking of worried, looking at these articles and apps designed to keep our kids safe has definitely turned the tide toward the bad butterflies in my stomach and my anxiety level is up! Time to go hug on someone before she leaves once again!

Safety Recap as School Starts: 11 Top Posts on School Safety for Kids, Teens and the College-Bound

School is back in session for just about everyone–except for a few students headed to colleges that start later in the month. So now is a good time to recap the safety and security topics we’ve presented in the past at the start of a new school year.

Below we’ve highlighted our top posts on kid and school safety from the past two years, and by kids we mean those college students who now view themselves as adults too. Take a quick look and see if any of these topics jump out at you as something that needs review—or to be forwarded to a high school or college student as a reminder.

Safety for school-aged kids
Beyond getting kids safely to and from school, safety for kids is really a 24-hour concern for parents, even when those kids are home. Check out these tips for keeping your kids safe—for peace of mind for you.

For kids who either leave the house after you or get home before you, see these tips for latch-key kids (and their parents): After School Safety for Latchkey Kids.

Getting to and from school can put kids at risk. See these 8 tips for keeping kids safe to and from school.

Once they’re home—and you’re still not—you can keep tabs on your kids from afar. Read how in this post about keeping an eye on kids remotely with a home security system.

Safety for teenagers still at home
Teenagers tend to think they know everything. So maybe send them a link to this post on back-to-school safety tips for teens and see if they read it. If not, be a little more proactive and force the issue. This post is directed at the teens, with input from my own teenager, and talks about a range of safety issues, include cyber safety. It’s important stuff. If your kids read nothing else at the start of this new school year, have them read this post.

Speaking of my teen, you might also read about teaching teens commonsense precautions, with stories drawn from my own experiences.

Safety for college students
Even if you’ve already moved your teenagers into their dorms, you should still go over these college campus safety tips with them—a.s.a.p.

For those college students who will be driving home on the weekends, and later for the holidays, go over the advice in this post on teen safety tips for road trips.

General safety precautions for everyone
Not every safety tip is age-specific. Below are links to additional safety information, that you can pass on to your kids when you think they are old enough to a) need the advice, and b) heed the advice.

Everyone, including you, needs to read about the importance of changing passwords often and well. This post includes ways to make it easy to change your passwords without compromising the strength of those passwords.

Also a good read to go along with the post above, this post goes into how to keep your passwords and PINs safe: Security at Your Fingertips: Keeping Passwords and PIN Codes Safe.

And since kids are getting online and into social media at ever younger ages, definitely brush up on social media safety with them, making sure you follow the same commonsense precautions when online.

We’re hopeful that every one of you gets off to a safe and sound start to the new school year, and we hope these past posts help!

Think Safety and Security When Buying Grad Gifts

Well, it’s May and graduations galore are suddenly upon us! If you’re pondering grad gifts, we—being the safety and security minded company that we are—have some suggestions for you to consider…

Those graduates will be headed off to all kinds of different adventures, so one-size-fits-all won’t work as an approach to buying gifts. But what you can do is buy gifts with a theme and a purpose, gifts that will help them transition into their next phase in life and keep them safe while they do so.

Obviously, a high school graduate heading across country for college has different needs compared to someone leaving for the Peace Corps or getting a job and setting up an apartment. Ditto for college graduates, who might be headed in any number of directions. But you know what they all do need? To be safe. And you know what all of us need? Peace of mind, knowing we’ve helped to keep them safe as they grow up and go out into the world.

With that in mind, here are a few of our top picks that can be good gifts for almost any grad:

Dorm safety
For those graduates heading off to live in a dorm for a while, DormSmart.com might be a place for buying gifts. They sell several items specifically for dorm residents plus they offer some vital advice for staying safe and secure on campus. (Read more about dorm safety and security here.)

Car safety kits
We offer suggestions for creating car safety kits here, but you can also buy ready-made ones. Both of my children, plus my mother and myself all have store-bought kits in our cars. I added an emergency supply of food and drink, but otherwise thought the kits were comprehensive enough to give me peace of mind. And this is the kind of gift any graduate of any kind who has a car can use!

Apartment safety
For those grads who will be setting up house in an apartment, safety and security should still be top of mind. An emergency preparedness kit would be a great gift, or even those kinds of safety items that younger folks might not think to have handy, like flashlights with extra batteries and hand cranked radios.

Home security
Finally, for those who have finished college and are launching careers, soon to be buying their first houses, the gift of home security is a gift that keeps on giving. Let’s face it, the income one has fresh out of college usually doesn’t allow for a lot of extras. Although for us older, established folks the monthly cost of a home security system is easily less than the cost of a dinner out, it is still out of reach for kids just getting started. So gift them with a home security system and pay the monthly fee for them. Later when they are financially doing well, they can take over the payments themselves, but at least their homes and property will be a bit safer in the meantime, while their budgets build up.

If you’re celebrating a graduate or two or more this spring, make your gift a more meaningful one by choosing safety and security as your theme. But also enjoy this time. It’s exciting to watch people of any age accomplish something meaningful and move on to the next stage of life. Celebrate and enjoy their accomplishments…and your own that got you where you are today!

Stay Aware and Be Prepared: Tips for Keeping College Kids Safe on Campus

When those college kids head off to school this fall, you can’t send them with a home security system, but don’t you wish you could? Maybe an alarm system strapped to their bodies to protect them from any and all harm? My youngest will be headed that way next fall, and boy would I love such a protective device to attach to her, one with 24×7 monitoring!

Sadly, that kind of personal “home security system” exists only in my imagination (and I doubt I could get my daughter to comply anyway). Instead, I will need to settle for coaching her on good safety habits to practice while on campus, and really, these are good safety habits for anyone, at any stage of life.

Two of the biggest safety habits college kids can practice are to stay aware and be prepared:

Stay aware
Kids these days, right? Always looking down at their phones, always plugged into their music… It’s easy to mock them for this, but it actually is really dangerous behavior. Kids need to stay aware of their surroundings on campus, and that means the phone stays in the backpack while they’re walking and maybe they can get by with only one bud in an ear until they get to their next class.

It’s not just being careful with technology, however. Kids also need to learn their way around campus as quickly as possible so they are always walking with a purpose and they always know where they are—and then they need to stick to the beaten paths they’re familiar with.

They also need to be careful who their friends are, and to never, ever put themselves into a social situation where they don’t know anyone. It’s one thing not to know anyone else in your biology class, and quite another not to know anyone at that party off-campus where everyone is drinking.

And speaking of drinking, this is a huge one and maybe a difficult one to discuss with them, but kids need to know their awareness (and therefore safety) level is going to decrease with every bit of alcohol they consume.

Be prepared
Kids can also do some safety prep ahead of time, to help to protect themselves once on campus. In addition to learning their way around campus right away, they need to find out about security services, such as someone who can walk them back to the dorm if they’re studying at the library late into the night, or whom to call if something bad should happen. They should have emergency contact information loaded on their phones, and consider keeping pepper spray in their backpacks.

Although you’ll be spending a lot of time and money on getting them prepared and packed for their college days, you might want to invest in some self-defense training for your child as well, so they will be better equipped to defend themselves should something go wrong.

Also consider assigning them a little “homework” such as reading through the tips in this post on preventing sexual assault, because it will sink in better if they read it (and you perhaps quiz them) than if you’re only preaching this advice to them.

It’s also imperative that you and your child review some commonsense safety tips for social media usage—because they think they’re all grownup now, but you and I know they’re not, and a reminder about ways to be safety savvy online is a good thing, especially when they will be away from home and your watchful eye!

In addition, you can do some homework too. You’re free as the parent to do your own research, to discover how safe (or unsafe) a college is based on crime statistics and student opinions, and you might use this data to reinforce the importance of good safety habits. (You might even want to make this information part of the college selection process, if you haven’t committed to a school yet.)

All kids need good safety habits, not just college kids
Good safety habits can get started at any age, and in fact should get started at a young age if possible. If you still have younger kids at home not yet headed for campus, we have safety advice for them too that you might want to put into practice. See, for example, our tips on keeping kids safe on their way to and from school, safety tips for latch-key kids, and back-to-school safety tips for teens.

And be ever vigilant and diligent with your college student kids even after they’ve headed to their dorm rooms, reminding them to be safe, because it will be easy for them to forget all of your sage advice once gone!

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Customer Reviews

I feel so much better knowing my family is protected! I spoke with SafeStreets USA in the evening and a technician was able to come install the system for me then for my parents first thing the next morning. Very impressed with his knowledge and care!

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We had our ADT system installed by SafeStreets USA and were really impressed with the service we received from our technician. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions on the system and how it worked. He set everything up in a couple of hours and was a real pleasure to talk with []

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