You've got lots of things to pack for your kids when they head off to school this fall — lunches, backpacks, extra clothes for after school activities and many more items.

But one thing you should also fill up is your child's head with safety tips.

In a perfect world, school would be a protected, idyllic place where only learning and support occurred. Unfortunately, that's not the case. School — and even simply getting to and from school — can be fraught with dangers, quick decisions and the need for survival skills.

Here are few things to keep in mind as you prepare your child to be safe this school year:

Know the Way

If your kids walk to school or walk to their bus stop in the morning, make sure that they know the best, safest and most direct way to get there. If possible, make the walk with them several times before the school year begins so they are completely comfortable with the route.

Always Go in Pairs

Remind your child that no matter where she goes on campus or on her way to and from school, make sure she goes with a buddy. It's critical to have a friend who can keep an extra set of eyes on a situation.

Watch Your Surroundings

Expanding on the idea above, teach your child that she must be aware of her surroundings at all times. It's sad that we must instill these skills in our children, but there are very few places that are truly safe anymore. Help your child learn to look around, trust her instincts if something doesn't seem right and to not blindly follow someone who doesn't seem trustworthy. It's a fine line between creating fear in our children and creating a sense of security but it's a skill that must be taught.

Bus Stop Safety

As children gather in the morning waiting for the school bus there is ample time for horseplay and silliness. But sometimes that can lead to danger. Remind your child that bus stops are often near busy roads and the utmost care must be taken to remain safe. Also, if trouble starts, teach your child that it's best to walk away and call someone for help.

Who to Call/Text

If your child is old enough to have a cellphone, this is a good time to remind her that one of the reasons it rests in her pocket is for safety purposes. If there is a emergency, make sure she knows exactly how to get a hold of you at all times. Also, make sure that her phone is working properly and that she has the appropriate data, text and phone plan to ensure she will be able to reach you, if necessary.

Listen to School Officials

We've all heard and seen many stories on tragic school shootings. It can happen anywhere and at any time. Remind your child that she must heed the warnings of school administrators and follow directions if, God forbid, there is a true emergency on school grounds.

Deal with Bullies

Another safety issue that is persistent on campus is dealing with bullies. If your son or someone your son is friends with is having a problem with a bully, ensure that they know who to talk to at school to get help. Trouble with bullies can linger, fester and turn into a deeply negative situation that affects your child's health, safety, educational progress and mental state. Before and during the school year, remind your child that bullying has no place on campus or anywhere else, and that if they are being affected, they can get assistance.

Stranger Danger

This might be a good time to reinforce the idea of stranger danger with your child. Your son or daughter must know that they will come into contact with many different people during the school day. Some of them will be familiar, some will not. They need to learn how to distinguish among them. Also remind them that if a stranger asks them to get in their car or to walk somewhere with them, they need to run and get help.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Plan

The most chaotic times of the school day are drop-off and pick-up. It'll be beneficial to create a plan for these times so your child knows where to go in the morning to stay safe getting into school and a specific place to meet you after school, in case you get separated.

Make Good Choices

It's critical that your child know to make good choices. Your son knows the difference between right and wrong. He knows when someone or something seems out of place. Teach him to recognize what he sees, if he feels uncomfortable or scared, he should say something to a trusted teacher or school official.