SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - With school now back in session - or about to be - school safety is a priority. In this week's "Don't be a Victim" segment, we get some expert advice to make sure your kids stay safe.
Experts say you need to be talking to your children about more than looking both ways before they cross the street. They also need to be aware so they don't become a victim of crime.
SCMPD Crime Prevention Officer Sherrell Brown says communication is key.
"Definitely communicate to your children the route that they should be taking. The route that they should not be taking and for whatever reason they get off track, they need to get back on track very fast. And do not get in the car with strangers." Brown said. "They should also avoid abandoned houses and lanes."
- Remind your child that if they feel they are being followed, go to a more populated area like a store or business.
- Teach your children to bite, kick, scratch, punch, and scream to get away from a stranger.
- Have your child memorize their name as well as your complete name and telephone number
- And Develop your own safety plan with your child.
"Most kids have cell phones now. So, you can make sure that you keep that line of cell phone communication open. Anybody else if they are not able to get in contact with their parent, they should have someone else they can call in the case of an emergency," Brown said.
It's also a good time to talk to your children about internet safety, the dangers of drugs and alcohol and to report any student bringing weapons to school immediately. Let them know they can do so anonymously to protect their identity.
Experts say it's important to encourage your children to talk about anything that makes them feel scared, threatened or uncomfortable.
It's also a good idea to find out about your child's school's safety plan in the event that an emergency should occur there and what you should do as a parent if a crisis occurs at the school.