A Safer Naper

August - Back-to-School Safety

As Naperville school children begin the 2022-23 school year, the Naperville Police Department asks that families and motorists make back-to-school safety a priority to ensure a safe and successful start to the new school year.

Safety Tips for Families

Before the first day of school, parents should talk to their students about safety and make sure to follow these tips:

  • Students should know their home address and phone number, as well as, a parent’s cell phone number. Help your child practice it so they have it memorized before school begins.
  • Use the buddy system. Always walk to and from school with a friend or stay with a group at the bus stop. There is safety in numbers. If riding the bus, visit the bus stop with your child and be sure they know their bus number.
  • Walk/ride in well-lit areas and never take shortcuts. Instruct children to avoid places they cannot be seen or heard and to stay on the safe routes to school.
  • Before the first day of school, walk to and from school with your child.
  • Stay within the crosswalks and obey all traffic signals/signs. Obey the crossing guard if one is available. If children ride their bikes to school, make sure they wear a helmet. Click here for additional bicycle safety tips.
  • Teach children the safety rule, “Say NO, GO and TELL”. If anyone approaches your child, offers them a ride, asks for directions, or makes them feel uncomfortable, instruct them to say “NO”, get away from the situation (GO), and TELL a trusted adult. Be sure to discuss with your child who trusted adults may be: teachers, parents, friend’s parents, neighbors, police officers, firefighters, relatives, etc.
  • Make sure children understand NEVER to leave school with anyone they haven’t been instructed to leave with by you. If someone comes up to them and tells them that there is an emergency and they want your child to go with them, be sure they know to check first with you or another trusted adult (school personnel) before doing so.

If your students will be taking care of themselves after school, find helpful tips and additional safety rules taken from our Third Grade - On Your Own program.

Safety Tips for Motorists

Drive Carefully graphic - child in crosswalkChildren will once again be walking to school through neighborhoods, waiting at bus stops and being dropped off at schools by parents and buses. The beginning of the school year is an especially important time to check your driving behavior and ensure you are practicing the safest driving habits. Motorists can assist with keeping children safe when headed back to school by following these tips:

  • Plan ahead and leave home earlier than normal to allow enough time to reach your destination without rushing.
  • Always come to a complete stop at stop signs and be sure to check carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding. Be sure to obey crossing guards and student safety patrols.
  • Slow Down! Remember, school speed zones are reduced for a reason. When entering a school zone, slow down to 20 mph and be extra alert for children on foot and on bicycles.
  • Be cautious when approaching school buses. It is illegal to proceed around a school bus with the stop sign arm engaged. Please be patient as children enter and exit school buses.
  • Eliminate distractions. Leave time in the morning to eat and groom before entering your vehicle and stay off the phone while driving. As a reminder, Illinois bans the use of all hand-held devices while driving in Illinois as well as texting while driving.
  • Follow each school’s traffic and parking plans and signage. This includes adhering to parking signage on nearby streets. If you have questions or want more information on your school’s traffic and parking plan, please contact your school.
  • Lock your car doors and remove valuables before exiting your vehicle at schools and daycares. Even if you’ll only be gone for a brief time, leaving valuables in plain sight or leaving your doors unlocked is an invitation for thieves.
  • Talk to your teen. According to AAA, nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occurs during the after-school hours of 3 to 7 p.m. Remind them to slow down, reduce distractions and be aware of their surroundings.

School Crime Prevention Tips

  • Get to know your school resource officer (SRO).
  • Always lock your locker. Never preset the combination to the last number for easy entry, or “jimmie” it so it stays unlocked.
  • Keep track of your valuables and secure them in your locker! Do not leave them on top of your locker, on benches, or in a classroom, bathroom or LRC.
  • Never share your locker combination with anyone.
  • Lock your bike to the bike rack or other stationery object.
  • Lock your car, keep the windows closed, and keep valuables out of sight.
  • Keep valuables at home. Never bring large amounts of cash to school or wear expensive jewelry.
  • Don’t bring weapons to school. If you see one, report it to the SRO and school officials immediately.
  • Be aware of your surroundings!
  • Report suspicious activities to police, school officials, and your parents.
  • Tell a teacher, parent, or other trusted adult if you feel unsafe or if someone is bullying or threatening you.
  • Remember it’s OK to say NO to adults or another student if they ask you to do something you know is wrong or it makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Safety for the College-Bound Student

College campuses are like small cities within a city, and thus they are not immune to crime. Following the tips below may help you stay safe while on campus.

  • Learn the safest routes to your classes and buildings, remembering to stay in well-lit and well-traveled areas where you can easily be seen.
  • Know where the blue light emergency phone stations are located.
  • Sign up for campus safety alerts.
  • Familiarize yourself with campus safety resources, such as safe walk or safe ride programs.
  • Avoid distractions. Keep your head out of your phone and avoid wearing headphones when walking. If using earbuds, keep only one in.
  • Always tell someone, such as a friend or roommate where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Always lock your dorm/apartment door, even if only leaving for a few minutes.
  • Never allow anyone to “piggyback” into a building. Have them use their own credentials to enter.
  • If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in a situation, at a location, or with a certain individual, leave the area immediately and avoid that person in the future.

For more college safety tips, visit our Back to School Safety webpage.