Summer is officially over as we move on from Labor Day weekend, and so the kids are all back in school. AEGIS wants to remind you how to stay safe this school year no matter how old you or your children are.
K-12 safety tips
A lot of parents are concerned about young children’s safety, but the topics of choice tend to be about street safety and stranger danger. While these elements are important to teach kids, students in kindergarten through fifth grade are at a critical development stage. As such, working with them to understand situational awareness holistically and providing them with a few basic tools will help ensure your child is safe.
LED Keychain Flashlights
Though it may not seems like a mechanism for defense, having a bright keychain flashlight on your keychain is a big deterrent from potential predators. Many neighborhoods continue to struggle with poorly lit areas, even between school grounds and home. Giving your child a bright light that can easily be attached to a backpack teaches him/her the importance of being visible as we swiftly move to an earlier dusk on their walk home. Remind them that lighting their path at night makes them a visible presence. Attackers don’t like the potential of people catching them in the act, so having a bright light to get you home can help in preventing an incident. We recommend this light:
Don’t forget the batteries long lasting lithium batteries:
As kids get older, they tend to be given more responsibility. As your student starts taking public transportation routes or walking longer distances alone to get home, it is important to teach them the importance of personal safety.
In middle and high school, children tend to be more aware of the dangers that lurk around them. Talk to your teenagers about anti-bullying ideals and the importance of “see something, say something.” Check out more on this from AEGIS.
College and University safety tips
According to the Safe and Sound report from collegestats.org, theft, sexual assault and nearby criminal activity are at the top of the list for safety concerns at universities across the nation. Students should be aware of preventative measures to ensure their personal safety.
Foremost, know where your campus security entity is located. Is there an on-campus police department? What services do they offer? Is there a night patrol? Who can you call in case of an emergency? Who can you call to walk you back to your dorm or car after a night class? Education about your university is key to ensuring personal safety.
There are also personal defense items you should consider having on your person. Note that you need to also learn how to use them!
Pepper spray can be carried in California by adults. Because use of it is not life threatening, it is a legally acceptable form of self-defense. Having a small canister on your keychain acts as visual deterrent and physical deterrent. Anyone who has accidentally snorted any kind of pepper knows the pain that comes with the spice; seeing a clearly labeled pepper spray canister helps to notify potential assaultants that you are not going to be taken on without a fight. Furthermore, if you are attacked, spraying the perp in the face will quickly end the assault as they reach to rub the stinging liquid from their eyes.
Here’s a brand we like:
Stun guns or personal tasers
Also legal for the purpose of self defense in the state of California, tasers and stun guns can be carried to stop assault in its tracks. The electric shock of such an item will temporarily, but swiftly, immobilize an attacker without inflicting permanent damage. Check out these:
Other things your kids should do to ensure their safety that are relatively simple but incredibly useful:
- If they have a cell phone (even a “kid phone): Carry your phone in your hand so it is visible. This lets others know you have 911 at the tip of your fingers.Do not play on your phone or text while walking. Being on a call is a good idea, but only if you are still aware of your surroundings.
- Keep the earbuds out of your ears. Look, listen and pay attention in dark settings.
- If they have a car: Keep your keys visible and in a strong grip if you are approaching your car. You do not want to hold them loosely (they could be stolen that way), but putting a key between two of your fingers in an “attack position” shows you are willing to defend yourself.
- Take lighted paths whenever possible. If a path is not well-lit, avoid it.
- Walk with friends.
If your child’s campus doesn’t have a security team, consider reaching out to an AEGIS security consultant to design and implement the best plan for your university or college. Additionally, AEGIS Security & Investigations offers security training programs designed for people at all levels within any organization. These trainings are the first step in understanding you and your organization’s capabilities and responses to an incident. Taking the steps to become better prepared in hostile situations cannot only save your life but help save the lives of those around you.
Lastly, make sure your school has lockdown gear. There are great tools available in the event of an active shooter:
Our most popular education facility training is the civilian active shooter training that is intended to build on “run, hide, fight,” the long-standing method of saving yourself in these events. Workshops run from an hour to several hours dependent on the needs of the organization and individuals. Our most highly sought after workplace violence training program is our one-hour plus add-on Run, Hide, Fight Live Fire Demo; participants begin with a lecture and basic training on how to handle the situation and are then exposed to sample scenarios in which they practice those same skills. The effectiveness of this scenario can be viewed when on CBS here.
AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people locates, and background investigations. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit www.aegis.com.
By Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner