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Back to school advice

There are many things to think about as children head back to school. Keeping them and their belongings safe is bound to be one of them. We've put together a few key things to think about; from staying safe online to protecting their valuables and stranger danger.

Back to school advice

Staying Safe Online

Social media can be a good thing; most young people say they have a positive experience of it. The challenge is to ensure a balance, so that using technology does not have a negative impact on them.

We work with schools, parents and children themselves throughout the year to deliver online safety advice. You could speak to your child's school and see if they are offering any sessions. In the meantime, have a look at our top tips:

  • Check the sites your child is looking at to make sure it's suitable. Monitor their pages or posts regularly.
  • Talk to your child's school if they are being bullied online. They will often have a policy or guidelines for this problem.
  • Make sure you know where and how to report a site or to get posts removed from a site if something abusive or illegal is featured or your child feels upset or threatened.
  • Agree time limits or use time limiting apps and remove portable devices from your child's bedroom at night to avoid tiredness.
  • Make sure you understand privacy and security settings for things like Facebook so you can work with your child to ensure their pages are as secure as possible and can't be accessed by strangers.

You can read more in our guide to online crime here.

Avoiding stranger danger

We would urge parents and carers to remind children what to do if they are approached by a suspicious stranger: shout or scream, run home or to the nearest busy public place, such as a shop, and tell a grown-up straight away.

Our partners at the NSPCC offer some good advice to help children stay safe when they are away from home. You can read it here.

Protecting their possessions

It is not uncommon for a child to take high value items with them to school. To keep them safe you can:

  • Keep your phones/bags/purses/wallets/iPods/cameras out of sight - don't advertise your stuff
  • Don’t leave your bag, phone, purses, or wallets unattended, even briefly
  • Don't hang bags containing your purse/wallet or other valuables on the backs of chairs or tucked under chairs where you can't see them
  • Mark your items to they are easy to trace and hard to re-sell
  • Register your property on the Immobilise website
  • Go to the Protect Your Property from Thieves page

Parking considerately

We know the school run can be a stressful time, but we would like to remind parents to drive and park safely, legally and considerately when dropping off and picking up their children from school. We’d ask that you park correctly; not blocking driveways or roads, on double yellows or zigzags or cause an obstruction.