As students head back to school each fall, parents should take time to discuss safety issues with their children.

Whether your child is going to grade school, college, or is somewhere in between, it is always a good idea to review some proactive measures that can be taken to improve his or her safety. In doing so, you and your child will be better prepared.

Stranger danger/abduction is a topic that can and should be discussed with your child regardless of his or her age. While most of us think of abduction scenarios involving young children, we also have to talk to high school and college age children about this as well. Dependent on your child's age, consider discussing the following issues with them.

  • Teach your young child to run away and make noise if a stranger pulls up in a car and calls them over. Explain that the stranger may try to lure them to their car by offering them something such as candy, or the opportunity to see a puppy.
  • Avoid printing or embroidering your child's name on their book bag or their coat because it allows a stranger to call them by name, as if they know them.
  • Discuss the dangers of walking alone at night with your high school or college age child.
  • Talk to your child about what they should do if their vehicle breaks down and they become stranded.