Command Staff Update

Spring 2017


Spring Break is over and STAARS testing is wrapping up…two sure signs that summer is nearly here!

For some, this may mean a stint at summer school…for others, a long stretch away from the academic world. Whatever the case may be, our first concern and motto is “SAFETY FIRST!” Parents, please remember that too much unsupervised time is an invitation to trouble and delinquent conduct for young people. The best solution is always – keep them busy with age-appropriate, supervised activities or, for older kids, summer jobs.

If you’re a working parent it’s important to arrange some form of trusted child care for younger children that are too young to spend the day on their own. This can take the form of a baby sitter, dropping them off with a relative who will watch them, or a professional day care facility. Whatever the case, do your homework and make certain you know who you’re leaving your children with, and verify that any commercial facility has the appropriate licenses, requires background checks on staff, has necessary fire and safety inspections, staff that’s trained in CPR and first aid,  and enough staff members to supervise the number of children they serve.

Whatever your kids are doing this summer, remember to make certain that you know WHERE they are, WHAT they’re doing, and WHO they’re doing it with. Be sure you know the names of your children’s friends (first and last, not just nicknames), where they live, and how to contact them.  Know where your children are going, with whom, and set times they need to be home.  

If you have children who are old enough to go places with friends in cars be sure the driver has a valid driver’s license and that the vehicle is safe. Know where they’re going and set a time they need to be home. Let your child know that if the person driving them becomes unsafe at any time – by using alcohol or drugs, or simply through temper tantrums or road rage – that they can call you and you’ll come get them.

If your children are just getting old enough to walk to nearby friends’ homes or the corner store without you, try to arrange for them to go with a friend or sibling rather than completely alone. As they say – there’s safety in numbers! Know the route they’re taking, have them go directly there and back (no deviations) and set specific time limits (“You can go to the store, but be back by 3 p.m.”). Be sure they know how to safely cross the street by themselves and talk with them about “stranger danger” and the ploys someone may use to entice them (“Can you help me find my puppy?”).

Most of all, know what your kids are doing on-line, and who they’re talking to on any of the many social media sites that are out there. There are a number of programs and apps that can help parents track their children’s on-line activities. Channel 2 recently tested some of them and did a feature on the ones they tried:

Summer is a wonderful time for freedom, family fun, and making memories that will last a lifetime. A little common-sense safety, and a little effort coming up with fun activities to share that require more creativity than money will ensure that your children return to school in the fall healthy, happy, and full of safe fun.