“Safety First” More Than a Phrase


By: Dee Jason
VP, Riverton and Mt. Pulaski Branch Manager
NMLS # 662874

PlayItSafe-blog1When it comes to teaching kids about safety, there’s more to it than just hoping they learn. It takes proactive measures by every parent or guardian. That’s why INB is hosting Play It Safe events at each of its branches in late July.

As we were planning our events, our Riverton and Mt. Pulaski branch staffs took the time to point out some safety measures they want us all to share with the kids we love.

Riverton Teller Taylor Harmon reminds us to teach our kids how to cross a street. “They need to know to look both ways to make sure a car isn’t coming.”

Safe Kids Worldwide adds to Taylor’s list about pedestrian safety:

  1. Put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street.
  2. Walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  3. Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult because most kids can’t judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until that age.

Mt. Pulaski’s Universal Banker Marcy Smock notes not only the importance of crossing the street, but the importance of paying attention when walking near school buses. “Not everyone stops for the STOP arm,” she says, “so kids need to always be aware of what’s going on around them when they’re near the bus.” In other words, don’t just walk out into the street assuming traffic has stopped.

Marcy adds several other important safety measures: “I believe that it is always important to teach kids about calling 911 if there is an emergency. Stop/Drop/Roll if there is ever a fire, and they catch on fire.”

Like Marcy, Linda Dirks, Mt. Pulaski universal banker, reminds us to tell our kids to: “Always be aware of your surroundings and people!” She adds, “Don’t talk to or take anything from a stranger.”

From Real-World to Online Safety

Assistant Branch Manager Aimee Craft says “stranger danger” is as important in the online world as in the outside world. “In this day in age, online safety is very important for kids to know and they need to know it at a very young age because kids have access to many things while on their iPads, iPods and tablets.”

Because I’m mom to three teenagers/young adults, I know it’s important to continue to stress online safety even as our kids get older. They need to understand that something/someone that seems perfectly harmless could be a front and be something totally different. They need to know that the app they think deletes their posts after so many seconds, really doesn’t . . . once that photo or video is out there, it is out there for the world to see. They need to remember that anything they post can be screenshot and sent out everywhere! Something that seems fun and innocent to them at the time, can come back to haunt them later in life.

Here are some links to sites that offer suggestions on how to help your kids understand these safety issues:

Using 911 for the right reasons: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/911.html

Stop, Drop & Roll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUdxOmHgeZ4

Know your surroundings: http://www.littlerockfamily.com/post/93455/summer-safety-making-your-kids-aware-of-their-surroundings

Online safety for young kids: https://kids.usa.gov/online-safety/index.shtml

Online safety for teenagers: https://kids.usa.gov/teens/online-safety/index.shtml

INB wants to help you teach your kids about safety in a fun way. Join us for “Play It Safe With Your Kids,” July 26-28 at our local branches.

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