As summer vacation draws to a close, back to school season is here again. If your children have started school, or will start school shortly, be sure to review and apply these school safety guidelines from the National Safety Council.
Proper safety precautions are crucial for the trip to and from school. You want to ensure that your kids arrive at school and return home in one piece.
Review family’s walking safety rules and practice walking to school with your child.
• Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When walking on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
• Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right, and left again to see if cars are coming. Proceed if the roadway is clear.
• Make eye contact with drivers before crossing and always cross streets at crosswalks or intersections.
• Stay alert and avoid distracted walking.
• Bike Riders
Teach your child the rules of the road and practice riding the bike route to school with your child.
• Ride bikes on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in a single file.
• Come to a complete stop before crossing the street and, when clear, walk bikes across the street.
• Stay alert and avoid distracted riding.
• Make sure your child always wears a properly fitted helmet and bright clothing.
• Bus Riders
Teach your children school bus safety rules and practice with them.
• Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
• Teach your children to stand 6 feet (or three giant steps) away from the curb.
• If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, teach him or her to walk on the side of the road until they are 10 feet ahead of the bus. Your child and the bus driver should always be able to see each other.
• Driving Your Child To School
Stay alert and avoid distracted driving.
• Obey school zone speed limits and follow your school’s drop-off procedure.
• Make eye contact with children who are crossing the street.
• Never pass a bus loading or unloading children.
• The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children – stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.
• Teen Drivers
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Fortunately, there are ways to decrease this risk.
• Crashes can be attributed to teens’ inexperience. Practice with new drivers every week, before and after they get their license.
• Set a good example by driving the way you want your teen to drive.
• Set up an agreement between you and your teen driver that helps define rules and expectations of both parties. As time goes on, responsibilities and restrictions can be adjusted accordingly. This is sometimes referred to as a Parent-Teen Agreement or New Driver Deal.
Many School-related injuries are completely preventable. Here are some ways to ensure your child’s safety at school.
Your child’s backpack should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
• Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to even distribute the weight on their shoulders.
• Don’t overstuff a backpack – Backpacks should weigh no more than 5% to 10% of your child’s body weight.
• Rolling backpacks should be used cautiously since they can create a trip hazard in crossed school hallways.
Playgrounds & Sports
• To reduce strangulation hazards on playgrounds, keep necklaces and jackets with drawstrings at home.
• A few bumps and bruises can be expected when your child plays sports, but head injuries should never be ignored.
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