Back to School Do’s and Don’ts!
It’s that time of year where every parent’s brain switch­es to Back to School mode. It seems like there is so much to do, and so lit­tle time! New back­packs, hair­cuts, and smart­phones are on your mind. But is safe­ty and secu­ri­ty on your radar? Here are a few “do’s and don’ts” to refresh everyone’s mem­o­ry for the next few weeks.
1. DO give your­self plen­ty of extra time, at least for the first few days of the new school year. There will be many new pedes­tri­ans, cyclists and dri­vers on the roads, cross­walks and side­walks. Kids can be unpre­dictable, espe­cial­ly when every­thing is new and excit­ing. DO SLOWDOWN and avoid dis­trac­tions, keep your eyes on the road.
2. DO remem­ber that the fines and laws for pass­ing school bus­es has changed. Dri­vers can be charged if they pass a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flash­ing: First offence: $400 to $2,000 and six demer­it points. Each fol­low­ing offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demer­it points and pos­si­ble jail time (up to six months)
3. If you are drop­ping off kids at the school, pack some patience and ample time. DON’T dou­ble park and block oth­ers field of vision. DON’T block cross­walks and DON’T load or unload chil­dren across the street from the school, avoid hav­ing your kids walk between cars and bus­es. DO walk to school or Car­pool to reduce the num­ber of vehi­cles at the school.
4. Don’t Break Safe­ty Rules Because You’re Late. Whip­ping your car around, get­ting your child to dash out of the car to reach the class­room before the school bell rings, or encour­ag­ing a “drop-and-dash” drop-off is the recipe for dis­as­ter in terms of child safe­ty. You would rather your child receive a tardy notice than to be in an acci­dent. Also, don’t use your cell phone in a school zone. It is a major dis­trac­tion.
5. School bus­es will be back in cir­cu­la­tion, it’s impor­tant to remem­ber the rules around bus­es. DON’T pass a school bus when the lights are flash­ing. In any case, always pro­ceed with cau­tion around school bus­es.
6. Every year we hear of kids get­ting on the wrong school bus or get­ting lost on the first days of school. DO have your kids mem­o­rize home phone #’s and address­es. DO write your cell phone # on the inside of back­packs and kid’s jack­ets. Let your kids know where they can find this infor­ma­tion and let them know it’s okay to share it with teach­ers, bus dri­vers, etc., if they are lost or con­fused.
7. DO con­sid­er Smart Locks for a door on your home, so your kids are reliant on keys. Many Smart Locks can be set to lock auto­mat­i­cal­ly, and some can send noti­fi­ca­tions when used. DON’T hide keys or leave back doors unlocked.
8. DO set your alarm sys­tem with a unique user code for your kids. This will help avoid false alarms, and can pro­vide you with noti­fi­ca­tions when your kids leave and arrive home.
9. DO con­sid­er installing cam­eras inside your home and at your front door. Most cam­era sys­tems can be set to send alerts to your smart phone and allow for livestream­ing. It’s a great way to check in and see if the kids have arrived home safe­ly. Many cam­eras also con­tain micro­phones for audio record­ing and lis­ten­ing as an added fea­ture.

And here is a handy school year school year cal­en­dar for 2019–2012.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.