Health Connection: August 2018

Back-to-School Safety Tips

Protect Your Kids Traveling to and from School

It’s that time of year again! Time to kick off another school year-and time to remind your kids how to get to and from school safely. The following suggestions, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will get
your kids off to a great start.

Riding the School Bus

School buses are the safest way for children to travel to and from school. However, there are dangers when children are boarding and leaving the bus. Over the past decade, nearly two-thirds of school-age pedestrians fatally injured in school transportation-related crashes were struck by school buses or other vehicles when getting on or off a school bus. Teach your child to always play it SAFE:

  • Stay five steps away from the curb.
  • Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.
  • Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
  • Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

Walking

Walking to school is great exercise and gets kids ready to focus on their studies. Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by an adult or someone who will make sure they walk safely. Teach your child to always:

  • Use the sidewalk whenever possible.If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the edge of the street facing traffic.
  • Focus when walking near traffic. This is no time for horseplay.
  • Use crosswalks whenever they are available to cross the street.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing any street.

Biking

Kids love riding their bikes, and it can be a fun, quick way to get to school. Remind them to do these simple things to keep their bike ride safe:

  • Always wear a properly fitted helmet and securely fasten the chin strap.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.
  • Stay in the bike lane whenever possible.
  • Use the sidewalk appropriately and keep an eye out for other pedestrians.
  • Never use electronics while riding. They are distracting.

Driving

If your teen is driving to school, riding with another teen or driving younger siblings to school, make sure you discuss safety rules:

  • Always have a safe driver behind the wheel.
  • The car doesn’t move until everyone is buckled up.
  • Use appropriate car seats and/or booster seats when driving younger siblings to school. Every child under age 13 must ride in the back seat. No exceptions.
  • NO phone use while driving.

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