Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today writes about ways to keep children safe as they venture back to school. Her column appears biweekly.
By and large, the world is a safe place with good things and good people in it. We know that and must trust that in order to go on. We need to share these feelings with our children and teach them how to live in the world acting responsibly toward themselves and others.
Keeping children safe is everyone's responsibility. Think about what you can do to help make our children safe.
* Establish safety routines at home, on the street, at school.
* Create a safe environment for your family at home.
* Go over safety rules for walking, biking or riding the bus and subway to school.
* Create a neighborhood safety co-op with other families on your street.
* Make sure your child gets up on time so she will not have to walk to school alone.
* Make sure your children walk home with friends.
* Tell your children to stay away from empty lots or buildings.
* Teach your children about strangers.
* Talk to your children about the correct way to cross the street. Practice with them.
* Incorporate safety conversations at home.
A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.