Parents: How to Talk to Your College Student about Safety
It’s late at night. Your college student is away at school. You’re awake because you’re wondering: Is he/she safe?
Sure, academics and social activities are important, but nothing tops your child’s well-being. The good news: It’s never too late to talk to your student about safety. Not only do regular check-ins make sure they’re prepared and being responsible, but it’ll give you more peace of mind. And a better night’s sleep.
Follow these pointers to give your child the best advice and tools possible for a safe and successful year.
The most important question: Do they feel safe?
You won’t know unless you ask them open-ended questions that get to the bottom of how they feel about their situation. Try asking questions such as:
- How do you feel about your dorm room/apartment?
- Do you like the people you are living with?
- Do you know how to contact campus security?
- Do you know what to do in case of an emergency?
- Do you feel safe on campus and around town?
Their answers will help you know how they’re doing and if there’s anything you need to address to increase their safety.
Go over the safety checklist
You’ve probably given your student a rundown of the top safety precautions, but it never hurts to revisit the list and confirm they’re checking off every box. Here are some important reminders from our latest college safety game plan:
- Keep your dorm locked and secure your valuables.
- Be cautious with your alcohol consumption.
- Be smart about what information you share on social media.
- Use the buddy system. Don’t attend/leave social events alone.
- Make sure you’re signed up for campus emergency alerts.
- Never walk alone at night. Contact campus security if you need an escort.
Prepare them with the right safety tools
It’s not enough to just talk to your college students about safety. Give them tools and training that make them feel more prepared and confident if they encounter scary situations. Here are some safe, effective options to consider:
- Add a pepper spray or personal alarm to your next care package.
- Encourage them to sign up for a self-defense class at school or home.
- Help them install a safety app on their smartphone and make sure they’ve programmed all of the right emergency contacts.
Don’t be afraid to talk safety with your college students. Open conversations are the best way to raise awareness and help them make smart decisions. Check out our personal defense products to help them prepare for a safe college experience.