Back to School
As summer comes to a close and the new school year starts, students will be re-joining the rush hour traffic frenzy. In this month’s guide, we present safety tips for the most common modes of transportation to and from school. It is important to follow the rules of the road to make sure fewer injuries occur, especially to children.
Buses can be difficult to maneuver so wait for buses to stop completely before approaching, and stop ten feet away from the school bus. Make certain that your child is seated on the bus before it departs. Also remind your child to wear a seatbelt if it is available. Get to know your child’s bus driver. Make sure the driver is familiar with your child’s bus stop, and who is allowed to pick them up.
Educate your child on these tips for waiting on and boarding the school bus:
- While waiting for the school bus stay away from traffic and up on a sidewalk when available.
- Line up away from the street as the school bus approaches.
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the doors open before stepping out into the road to board the bus.
- Use the handrail when getting on the bus.
- When driving, always maintain a safe distance behind the school bus, and never attempt to pass a stopped school bus. It is against the law.
Remember to buckle up. All passengers should wear a seat belt. Small children should be placed in an approved age-appropriate booster seat in the safest and proper location in the vehicle. Giving yourself more time to get where you are going will help you navigate the increased traffic. If a newly permitted or licensed teen is driving to and from school, limit the number of non-family passengers in the vehicle. Prohibit your new driver from eating, drinking, using the cell phone, including talking and texting, and engaging in any other activity which is distracting. Use a carpool. Carpooling reduces the number of vehicles on the road and decreases the chance of an accident.
Avoid letting your child walk to school alone. Find a fellow student or friend to accompany them. Make sure your child knows the route well and remind your child to stop and look before crossing intersections. Before school starts, walk the route with your child to make sure your child is comfortable and able to walk to and from school alone, if necessary. Educate your child on how to be visible to drivers. Wear bright-colored clothes, and if it is dark carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing. Provide your child with a way to contact someone in case of an emergency.
CHILDREN ON THEIR OWN AFTER SCHOOL SHOULD
- Be sure to know their home phone number (including area code) and address, the numbers of their parents at work and of another trusted adult.
- Know how to call 91 I in emergencies.
Establish rules for locking doors and windows and answering the door or telephone. Have an agreement regarding inviting friends over or going to a friend’s house. Never talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Contact a parent or neighbor when they arrive home if they are staying home alone after school.