The beginning of the school year is a busy time for parents and their kids, and the bustle of the first days of a new school year can sometimes lead to injuries. Parents want to ensure their kids are ready for the new school year and follow some best practices to prevent child injuries early in the year. Consider the following tips for back to school safety:
- Make sure you know where your children’s bus stop will be and what time it will arrive. Avoid having to rush in the mornings so your children are not tempted to run to the bus stop. Children should know to wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and opens the door before approaching the bus.
- When children approach or disembark a school bus, make sure they know to check before crossing, and, if a child must cross the street, always cross in front of the school bus where the driver can see.
- Most buses don’t have seat belts, but if your children’s does, make sure they know how important it is to use and how to do so.
- If you live close enough for your children to walk to school, only allow them to do so if they are old enough and feel ready to walk alone safely.
- For children who walk to school, parents should check the walking route before the school year starts and practice walking with their children. This will help kids feel safer about walking and also give parents an idea of what time the kids need to leave to make it to school on time. If possible, try to have your child walk to school with a group of other students who live nearby and attend the same school.
- Make sure your children know what to do in the event a stranger approaches them.
- Parents who drive their children to school should follow all posted traffic signs, especially those in school zones. Most school zones require drivers to slow down below the posted speed limits during certain times of the day. Failing to follow these signs could lead to fines from police and may endanger children in the area who are walking to school.
- If a child rides a bicycle to school, make sure the bike is in good condition before allowing the child to ride it. Additionally, all children should wear acceptable helmets and pads when riding their bikes to prevent injuries.
- Bullying is still an unfortunate problem facing many American children at school. At the start of a new school year, pay close attention to your child’s behavior if anything seems out of the ordinary. If you suspect bullying or your child tells you he or she is facing bullying at school, do not hesitate to confront the school administration about the issue and ensure your child’s safety.
These are just a few tips to keep you, your children, and other kids safe for the new school year. Use your best judgment to help your kids have a safe and productive school year free from injuries.