Catherine Nolan
Health and safety tips
for the new school year

Dear Neighbor,

School is starting and preparing our children for the new school year often means new clothes, sneakers, backpacks and notebooks. It’s also important to ensure kids have the information they need to cope with any dangerous situation they may find themselves in. I have included a list of safety tips specifically for school-age children. They may never need them, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Teaching these simple safety tips will help ensure that our children have a happy, healthy and, most importantly, safe school year.

Catherine Nolan
Member of Assembly
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
Catherine Nolan
61-08 Linden Street
Ridgewood, NY 11385

the basics

Make sure your children know their full name, address, phone number with area code, and parents’ names. Also teach them how to reach you in an emergency and how to dial 911 from a pay phone.

From an early age, teach children to ask for help when they are lost or frightened. For instance, uniformed police officers, a clerk in a store or a mother with children are safer choices.
Where are
your children?

Before your children leave the house, make sure you know where they’re going, who will be with them, how they’ll get there and when they’ll be back.
The buddy

Never let your children go anywhere alone. Remind them that there is safety in numbers.
Don’t let them be lured

Teach your children not to go near people asking for directions, for help finding or moving something, or claiming their mom or dad is in trouble.

Be in
the know
Every parent should know if convicted sex offenders who prey on children live in the neighborhood. Call 1-800-262-3257 or visit the state Sex Offender Registry Web site at to find out.
School-age Safety Tips
What’s the password?

It’s critical for children to have a password that other adults (besides mom or dad) must say before the child can leave with them. Only share the password with your children and those you arrange to accompany them.

How to report your missing child

Time is a critical factor in abduction cases. If you cannot find your child, immediately call your local law enforcement agency and provide your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight, and any distinctive marks such as eyeglasses, braces or scars. Request that your child be entered into the National Crime Information Center’s Missing Persons File and call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

Safety skills

Take every opportunity to reinforce safety skills. If an incident occurs in your community, speak openly and frankly with your children while emphasizing the safety rules.
Keep your
records up to date
In case of an emergency, it’s important tohave recent photographs, fingerprints, a physical description and even DNA samplesof your children. Operation Safe Child (see below) provides a fast and easy way to update your records.

Operation Safe Child

Statistics show that 34 percent of parents in the United States do not know their child’s exact height, weight and eye color. Possessing up-to-date photographs and detailed information about a child can greatly assist local law enforcement officials in quickly responding to a child’s disappearance.

Parents can get a Safe Child Card made, which includes the child’s name, date of birth, gender, height, weight, hair and eye color, and fingerprints. The card can be made in less than two minutes and is easily carried in a wallet. For more information, visit

Student Driving Safety

As a parent, you might feel helpless knowing your teen is out on the road. You can’t always be in the car monitoring every move, but there are several measures you can take to enforce safe driving practices to set your mind at ease:

Vaccines for Children

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides immunizations to children who may not have access otherwise. Children up to 18 years old are eligible for VFC if they are:

Several vaccinations are covered under the program, including polio, tetanus, flu, measles and chickenpox. For more information on VFC, visit

In addition, the H1N1 flu vaccine is expected to be available in the fall. For the latest information, visit