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School's in: Teach your kids common safety measures

January 07, 2013
Local firefighters commit to spreading the word about back-to-school safeguards

It is that time of year again—time for all children to go back to school.

This school year, the Henderson Professional Fire Fighters is committed to extending its safety outreach through messages of prevention. It is the group's responsibility to ensure that every student going back to school is aware of common safety measures.

Bus stop safety is an important issue, yet it is all too often overlooked. It is essential to remind your children to remain on inner sidewalks and to look both ways before stepping into the road.

Another safety measure is to ensure that your children know not to talk to strangers, while waiting at the bus stop.

Once kids are on the bus, remind them to stay seated while the bus is moving, as standing often can cause a distraction for the bus driver and greater injury to the passengers, if the driver were to get into an accident.

If your children ride their bikes to school, always make sure they wear a helmet and remind them to ride on the right side of the road or sidewalk, always following traffic guidelines and rules.

Another accident preventative measure is to wear reflective clothing or vests, especially during the early morning hours, when the sun is beginning to rise.

Finally, be sure to purchase a lock for your children's bikes.

Many children walk to school, which also has risk factors parents need to know. First, be sure that your children know to use sidewalks and crosswalks and also have them walk with others. Children should never walk alone.

If they are approached by a stranger, tell your children to yell and run to the nearest area where others are present. If they have a cell phone, they should be instructed to dial 911, if possible.

Additionally, plan a walking route with your children, so they are walking in view of the public and not taking shortcuts where they may not be visible.

General safety measures to be aware of include teaching your children their home phone number, address and parents' contact information during day and evening hours, in case of

an emergency.

These are just a few prevention tips to keep your children safe this school year. The HPFF would like to spread safety awareness throughout the remainder of the academic year by visiting your school's Parent-Teacher Association and Parent-Teacher Organization groups to bring this message and other preventative campaigns directly to the parents of the children we serve to protect.

For more information, including who to contact to organize a school PTA/PTO visit, log on to

Dan Pentkowski has served the city of Henderson as a professional firefighter paramedic for the past eight years. As president of the Henderson Professional Fire Fighters, Pentkowski represents members of the Henderson Fire Department and works to ensure the highest level of service and safety to

the community.

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