American Red Cross back-to-school safety - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

American Red Cross back-to-school safety

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TYLER (KYTX) - It's not just school bus and driving safety we should be warning our kids about as the school year kicks in. Those with the American Red Cross say families should also be talking about something they call "personal preparedness."

"Children should know their phone number, their home phone number, their address. They should know their parents work phone numbers." says Tammy Prater, executive director of the American Red Cross East Texas.

She says these are numbers all parents should make sure their children have memorized.

"We think everybody should do this all the time, but you know, starting back to school is a good time to reinforce that and say, 'ok we need to sit down and make sure as a family, everybody knows what to do and everyone has a plan.'"

That's what Jennifer Seal did with her 10 and eight-year-olds this year.

"Call 911 if they have an emergency, go to a police officer if they see something strange or feel unsafe. And, they have my cell phone number memorized."

And, she says they're taught to never talk to strangers or take a ride from someone they don't know.

"Because as a young child," she says, "They think everybody's good. And, they're not."

She especially reinforces that with her daughter.

"She's caring. She has a very big heart. And so, that's the one I worry about the most. I instill in her, don't talk to strangers, you know, not everybody has a good heart."

She says she plans on teaching those lessons to her two-year-old son as soon as he's old enough.

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