April 22, 2021
The last day of school for Seminole County is Wednesday, May 26. Early release dates for school are May 24 and 25, which are only partial days. The end of the school year is a time when many parents should start thinking about the unsupervised time their children will be facing, time spent home alone. It's also a time when additional officers are actively enforcing traffic laws, especially in school zones. Here are just a few tips to keep children safe.
- Slow down and be aware when driving, especially in neighborhoods where more kids who may run into roadways or walk out from between cars are out playing. Teach your children to make eye contact with a driver before they cross a street. Remind them to walk, not run across the road, and stop, look and listen before crossing the street. Talk to them about not jaywalking and crossing at intersections that have a marked crosswalk.
- Always watch for small children as you back your car up. Walk around your vehicle to make sure no kids or pets are behind it.
- Line up trustworthy childcare. This guarantees there is no lapse in supervision. Take time to do the research and make sure you are comfortable with the person or facility you choose. Plan activities. Too often a bored child will find mischief. Summer camps, community educations classes, youth groups, or mission trips are all great ways to help your kids stay engaged. The City of Oviedo offers many programs over the summer. Check them out.
- Protect those children staying home alone. Lay down some rules and guidelines and let your children know there are consequences for not following them. You will want to make sure your child knows how to operate any safety measures that are in place at home and how to call for help if needed. Make sure they do not share garage door codes with friends. Inform friends of your rules.
For kids, summer is all about hanging with their friends. For you, this means supervising and being responsible for more kids than just your own. Make sure, the children and the parents know your rules and expectations.
We know kids may make some bad decisions and sometimes hang out with others who may lead them the wrong way. There are little things we can do to help children make the right decisions so they don't wind up in the back of an ambulance or a police car. The best way to do this is to self-educate ourselves on steps we can take. Google "end of school safety tips" to learn more.
Oviedo Chief of Police