SFS cautions parents, children as school year approaches

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt Ira M. Sollace
  • 66th Security Forces Squadron

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- With a new school year nearly here, the 66th Security Forces Squadron would like to provide some safety guidelines to ensure every child here has a safe school experience.

If you plan to let your child walk to or from school, consider the following:

    - In accordance with the Hanscom AFB Youth Supervision Policy letter, a child must be 8 years of age or older to walk to or from school without adult supervision. Children ages 5 to 7 must be within sight or hearing distance of adult supervision. For further information concerning base policy on unsupervised children, reference the youth supervision policy available through housing, Child Development Center, Family Advocacy or the 66th Security Forces Squadron.
    - Be sure your child has a good phone number for a parent and an address, as well as a work number, the number of another trusted adult, and how to use 911 for emergencies.
    - Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and use intersections with crosswalks.
    - Walk with your child for the first several days of school to ensure they know the route.
    - Encourage your child to walk to and from school with a brother, sister, neighbor or friend.
    - If your child is old enough to be home alone, develop a notification plan and time and have your child inform you when they arrive home.
    - If your child is not old enough to be home alone, ensure a responsible babysitter is at your residence from the time your child arrives home from school.

If you allow your child to ride their bicycle, scooter, skateboard, roller skates/Rollerblades or other device to or from school, ensure they follow base policies:

    - All operators or passengers on any of the above mentioned vehicles must wear a properly fitted helmet with a fastened chin strap.
    Approved helmets are those that meet the American National Standards Institute or Snell Memorial Foundation standards.
    - Bicyclists on roadways must ride on the far right side of the roadway and use caution when passing any vehicle.
    - Riders must proceed in single file when traveling in groups of two or more.

Remind children of all ages that whether they are walking, biking, driving a vehicle, they must obey all traffic signals, signs and the direction of Security Forces patrolmen or entry controllers. Also, remind them to be extra careful in rainy, foggy and snowy weather due to reduced visibility and diminished road conditions.

Additionally, all drivers should plan for expected traffic congestion and impacted travel times as the new school year begins. As established at the end of last school year, there is a new traffic pattern for the on- base primary school. Morning drop-off is between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. and all exiting traffic may only turn right onto Vandenberg Drive. Afternoon pickup is between 2:15 and 3:15 p.m. and all school traffic must use the loop on Eglin Street by the CDC.

For more information on bicycle and traffic policies and procedures on HAFB, reference the 66th Air Base Group Manual 31-116 on the secure 66 ABG SharePoint site. Contact the 66 SFS Police Services at 781-225-5605 for further information or with questions or concerns.