PEKIN - Thousands of students are heading back to school this week, and no matter how close you live to your school, safety is key.
Many times, walking to and from school is easy, but it's also easy for danger to arise. Police say it's important to have a conversation with your child about talking with strangers.
Pekin police say they have increased security in school zones when school is in session, and the Pekin fire department is also helping them out this week with traffic safety.
"There's going to be a lot of kids in and around the schools and in the crosswalks so we want them to be careful," Pekin Fire Chief Kurt Nelson said.
The firefighters will be stationed with their trucks at 11 of the elementary schools on their first day.
"Unfortunately, a lot of the people don't pay attention. Everybody's busy either texting or doing other things they shouldn't be doing while driving," Nelson said.
That's why officials say to have children always use a crosswalk and always look both ways twice before crossing the street.
"A lot of the people out and about may not be used to kids being back in school yet because they've had the whole summer without that so we want them to make sure that they're safe," Nelson said.
And the best way to avoid any sort of danger walking outside: never go to or from school alone.