Allowing your child to walk home from school can be a difficult decision to make, so here are some tips for preparing your child to walk home from school safely.
As a parent, you’re constantly worrying about your child’s safety. When you decide to allow them to walk home from school, there are several thoughts racing through your mind. You’re thinking about all of the what-if’s that could happen to your child as they make their way back home from their school. This is a common reaction for parents to have and one of the best ways to gain some relief is to know a few of the best tips on preparing your child to walk home on their own.
When you teach your child about safety and how to remain safe during their travels, you can have some peace of mind. In the guide below, there are several safety tips to discuss with your child right away. Continue reading to get started!
Before you allow your child to walk home from school each day, you should determine an appropriate age. There are some basic rules you can follow, but the best age to allow your child to walk home alone is when you, as a parent, believe they’re ready.
In general, most children are ready to start walking home from school between the ages of 9 and 11 years. This time is normally during their fourth and sixth year of school. During these years, it’s ideal for you to make the decision based on knowing your own child.
When you’re with them and see them cross the street, do they remember to look both ways every single time? Do they know not to speak with strangers and how to use crosswalks? If you know your child is responsible enough to follow all safety rules on their own, then they could be ready to walk home from school.
There are different safety precautions to teach your child when they walk home alone. Teaching them all the best safety precautions will help prevent dangerous situations from happening, but if a dangerous situation were to occur, you’ll want to know how to protect them when you’re not around.
Sending your child to school with a personal alarm will help keep them safe during their travels. Personal alarms can easily clip onto your child’s bookbag or buckle loop to prevent any worries of them misplacing it during the day. These alarms are extremely loud and will draw attention to them.
They’re a great deterrent if needed in a potential stranger danger situation. They also come in stylish designs and have lights and strobes that your child will love. The alarm has an easy pull pin or push button that’ll activate it.
Teach your child to use the alarm if they ever feel threatened or in danger. This will help your child feel more comfortable as well as you.
Now you’ll want to start going over some safety tips for your child to understand and learn how to use when they’re walking home. There are several great safety tips to teach them, and you can even consider practising these safety tips with them before their first day walking home alone.
One great safety tip to start with is teaching them to only cross the street at pedestrian crossings and how to use the pedestrian crossings. Most schools will have crossing guards at intersections near the school. If your child can walk to a crossing guard before having to cross the street, then it’s best to teach them to take that route.
Otherwise, you’ll want to teach your child how to properly use a pedestrian crossing, such as pressing the crossing button, waiting for the lights to flash, and ensuring all cars have come to a stop before crossing.
There’s always safety in numbers. If possible, then try to have your child walk home from school with a friend or a group of other children. There will most likely be other children walking in the same direction as your child each afternoon.
A great starting place is your own neighbourhood. Speak with your neighbours whose children also attend the same school and ask if they’ll be walking home. If so, your children can then plan to walk home together.
If you know any parents at the school, then this is another great place to find a friend for your child to walk home with. Your child might also feel more safe and comfortable if they have a friend to walk with them.
There will always be potential dangers when walking home from school alone. Although you can’t control the outside world, you can control how your child responds to it. It’s time to teach your child about the potential dangers they might face when walking home from school.
Vehicles on the road and strangers in the area can both pose a threat to your child. You should teach your child to stay alert at all times. This means having their eyes looking up and not down at their phones.
They can then stop any suspicious activity or stop themselves from walking in front of a car. You should also consider teaching your child to walk on the pavement and stay close to the grass. Teach your child about stranger danger and how to handle a situation if a stranger were to approach them either by foot or in a vehicle.
When you prepare their children for these potential dangers, it’s similar to practising fire drills with them at school. Over time, they know exactly what to do and how to react as if it’s second nature to them.
Allowing your child to walk home from school alone can be a difficult decision for any parent to make. Fortunately, you can keep your child safe by teaching them all the best safety tips and precautions.
Are you preparing your child to walk home from school this year? If so, be sure to browse our collection of personal alarms. Protect your child even when you’re not physically there with the help of an alarm and protection device!