Back to school safety tips - child getting on school bus

Over the summer, kids often forget some of what they learned during the school year. Educators call it the “summer slide.” Be prepared for a “safety slide” as well! Before school starts again, review your children’s route and transportation to school, and remind them of safety guidelines. Use the following tips to make sure your child heads back to the classroom safely.

Send Kids Safely to School

  • Always escort young children to the school building, or make sure they are supervised by a school official or trusted adult. If you allow older children to walk to school, make sure they use a safe route with few intersections to cross.
  • Teach children to always walk on the sidewalk when it is available and to only cross the street at intersections or crosswalks after looking both ways for cars. Make sure they know to listen to and follow the commands of cross guards, police officers, and security officers.
  • Always require children who ride bikes to school to use a helmet and wear brightly colored clothing that makes them visible to drivers.
  • Tell your kids to stand away from the curb while waiting on the bus and to always walk in front of the bus, never behind.
  • Warn your children to remain seated on the bus and keep their arms and legs inside to avoid injury.
  • Instruct your child never to attempt to retrieve something dropped under the bus without first making sure the bus driver knows to stay parked.
  • Make sure that your child’s backpack weighs no more than 20% percent of his or her body weight and has two padded straps to reduce pressure on the shoulders and back. Overloaded backpacks can lead to serious back problems and injuries for your child, so check backpacks for unnecessary items and place the heaviest items at the bottom.

Review Your Driving Routine

  • Watch for school buses and children when driving during the school year. Any time a school bus flashes its yellow lights, prepare to come to a complete stop 10 feet behind or in front of the bus. Never attempt to pass a school bus that is flashing red stop lights.
  • Stop on the white line in front of a crosswalk so that pedestrians can safely walk back and forth, and you can see them.
  • Always follow the reduced speed limit when warning lights are flashing in a school zone, and yield to any pedestrians crossing the street.
  • Exercise caution when driving around a cyclist. Allow at least three feet of space between the cyclist and your car while slowly passing.
  • Yield to cyclists and pedestrians when driving. After parking on a street, look in your side and rearview mirrors before opening doors to avoid hitting someone approaching on foot or biking past.

Dodge Playground Dangers

  • Inspect playgrounds before allowing your child to use them. Playgrounds should have soft surfaces of wood chips, sand, gravel, rubber mats, or other surfaces that will cushion a fall.
  • Report any broken equipment, sharp edges, or hard surfaces to the local school system or county, and keep children away until the problem is fixed.
  • Always supervise children while they use the playground, and only let them play on age-appropriate equipment. Toddlers should not use climbing equipment and need smooth, shock-absorbing surfaces to walk on.
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