Your kids are prepared for school. They have new clothes and all the right school supplies. You’ve stocked up on healthy foods for their lunches and their new lunch boxes are ready to be used. You’re totally ready for your kids to go back to school — even if they’re still lamenting the fact that summer is over. But are you and your kids prepared to get to and from school safely? Here are a few safety tips for making sure your kids will make it to school and back again.
Many students ride a bus to school. Getting on and off of the bus is actually the most dangerous part of the journey. Make sure to get to the bus stop early. Children should stay on the sidewalk and wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the door has opened before they move toward the bus.
School Bus, cont.
When approaching or leaving the bus, make sure the bus driver can see you when crossing the street and that the bus driver is aware of you at all times. Once on the bus, children should remain seated at all times. They should do their best to not distract the driver and be respectful of those around them.
Make sure that your kids are appropriately secured in the car, whether they simply need a seatbelt or if they need a booster seat. In Utah, children under 8 and under 4’ 9 are required, by law, to use a booster seat. Schools are especially congested at drop off and pick up times, to make sure to follow the speed limit and be extra aware of pedestrians.
Before school starts, walk the route from your house to the school with your child. Make sure they know to watch for traffic, stay on the sidewalk, and how and where to safely cross the street. Plan for the weather and make sure your children dress appropriately. In cases of extreme weather, make sure to have a back-up transportation plan.
Ideally, a parent would be able to walk their child to and from school every day. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Instead, encourage your children to walk in a group with other children.
As with walking, make sure that children know to watch for traffic, how and where to cross the street, and the rules of the road for bicyclers. Give bikes a tune-up before school to make sure everything is working correctly. Let kids know that wearing a well-fitting helmet is absolutely required anytime they are on a bicycle.