Summer is coming to a close. That means changing leaves, football season, sips of apple cider, and all things pumpkin are just around the corner. But first—it's back to school.

As you pack lunches and prepare your kids for their first days, take the time to have necessary conversations regarding safety.

Discuss topics, such as the four areas outlined below, to give your kids the knowledge they'll need to learn, grow and achieve success safely.

1. Drop Off and Meet Up at the Bus Stop

Do you know when and where the bus will arrive before and after school each day? You should. Check and double check schedules so you know exactly where your kids should be at all times.

If your children are small, have either yourself, or a close friend or neighbor, accompany them to and from the bus stop to make sure they travel safely. If your kids vary in ages, and you feel comfortable having an older child escort younger siblings to the bus stop, this can also be an option. Regardless, have someone there that they can count on to help them get to school safely.

2. Teach and Remind Kids to Travel Safe

Educate and remind your children on these key points of safety:

  • Beware of Strangers: Don't talk to strangers or accept anything from them, including a different ride option to school.
  • Follow The Signs: Obey all traffic signals and signs. Know what each look like and what they mean. Always remember to look both ways when crossing the street and be mindful of traffic.
  • Understand School Bus Etiquette: While on the bus, remain seated. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop at school or back at home before standing up to pick up an object, adjust a shoe string or exit the bus.
  • Know Important Names and Numbers: Be sure your child knows his full name, your phone number and your address by heart. He should also know how to call 911 in case of an emergency and when that is an appropriate measure to take.

3. Communicate Schedules and Pick-Up Plans

Keep your kids in the loop. Let them know your work schedule, and if there are ever any variances in it. If, for any reason, you are unable to take them to school or pick them up as usual (or the friend or neighbor you've enlisted to help has a conflict), be sure your child knows the back-up plan.

4. Consider Surveillance Solutions for an Extra Set of Eyes

As an additional precaution, consider home video surveillance. While meant to keep an eye on your home while your family is away on vacation or gone for an extended period of time, these tools can also give you peace of mind during everyday activities.

For example, do you work and rely on a friend or neighbor to get your child to and from school? Pull up live video feeds on your computer, tablet or smartphone, and watch your child leave your home in the morning and arrive safely to your front door at school's end.

Image Source: Dan Previte