School Safety

Back to school is just around the corner. Are your kids ready? Here are some safety topics to discuss with them before they hit the bus, car, bike or walk route.

If your child rides the school bus, review rules like staying seated at all times unless loading or unloading. Some busses have seatbelts, but most do not, so it is important to remain sitting for the entire ride. Several busses, especially those for elementary schools, have assigned seating.

And while the school will help children get on the right bus at the end of the day, make sure your child knows which one they are assigned to and what their stop is, just in case. Other bus safety rules include not walking behind the bus, waiting on the sidewalk until the bus doors open, and not rough housing on the bus.

Car riders have a bit of an easier time, but still children should be reminded to only walk in front of the vehicle when they exit in the morning. Be sure your child knows what your car looks like and inform him/her who will be picking them up each day. Go over the list of neighbors or friends who are authorized to give them a ride and instruct them not to get into a car with someone they don’t know well.

Bike riders should always wear helmets and have backpacks secured to their shoulders using both straps. One-shoulder wearing can cause the rider to be off balance and could lead to an accident. Check tire air pressure and go for a ride a few days before school starts to make sure bikes are in good condition. Instruct children to ride slowly and watch out for pedestrians and to use a bell or warning sound when approaching others from behind.

In turn, walkers should be instructed to look out for bikers. Stay to the right side of the sidewalk or path so bikes can easily pass. Both bikers and walkers will probably be crossing the street, so a review of safety – like stop, look, and listen – is in order. Point out crossing guards, crosswalk markers and signals and teach children how to follow them.

As drivers, be extra careful when going through school zones and look out for bikers and pedestrians, especially during morning and afternoon hours.

Let’s have a safe and happy back to school time!