With the school year having opened in full swing, parents and kids should make it a point to practice safety procedures in school and outside it. To give us an idea on what to do to keep our big kids safe in school, here are some helpful tips from Beth Bermio, the Traffic Safety and Security Coordinator for the Ateneo Grade School in Loyola heights, Quezon City:
1. Your child should know how to identify himself – As soon as he is old enough to do so, your child should be able to say his full name and address (mnemonics, a song or a game can help them remember). Have him memorize it or have it on his person as a card, bag tag or ID tag. His knowing his mother’s maiden name is extremely helpful.
2. Register your yaya, sundo, driver, bodyguard or relative with the school so the school knows who is authorized to take your child home after class. If no such procedure exists with your school, it’s a good idea to bring it up at the next PTA meeting.
3. Don’t be too friendly to strangers – If a yaya no longer works with the family (especially if the parting wasn’t amicable), the parents should make it clear to the child that that person is no longer part of the household. You must also inform the school so that the former yaya will not have easy access to entering the school or your child. Teach the child to ask “why” when an adult wants them to deviate from a routine when it comes to going home.
4. Let your child identify his or her yaya - When a child is about to leave and is heading for the waiting area where her yaya or sundo is, she should call out the name of that person to identify the yaya.
5. They should know the right numbers - Teach your kids to memorize your cellphone number and landline numbers (use the memorization tips in no.1.). Also they should have coins or phonecards and they should know how to use public phones.
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