It’s that time of year again! After a long summer, it’s time for children to go back to school again. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the school year, there is also an increase in vehicle/pedestrian accidents in school zones. It would be in your best interest to take certain precautions to ensure the safety of your children.
Primarily, you want to remember to utilize safe driving tips in safety zones. That includes being aware of school zones and speed limit signs. Remember that you must stop for school buses that are loading and unloading children, and pay attention to school crossing guards and obey the signals. Never pass, change lanes, or make a U-turn in a school zone and only in an emergency should you ever use your phone while driving.
Here are some general safety tips for your child that travels alone to school:
- When your child is walking to school, try to leave early enough to arrive to school 10 minutes prior to the start of school.
- Make sure they use the same route every day and never use shortcuts.
- Make sure they know to go straight home after school and not to go anywhere else without permission.
- See if you can arrange a group of children in the neighborhood who can walk to and from school together.
- Make sure they know to always look both ways before crossing and to never run while crossing the street.
- Tell your children to avoid talking to strangers. Teach your child to distance themselves and anyone who tries to approach them. If approached by a stranger make sure they know to report the incident immediately.
Here are some safety tips for your child that rides a bicycle to school every day:
- First, you will want to check with the school that your child attends and find out if there are any regulations that would restrict your child from riding a bicycle to school.
- Make sure your child always wears a helmet. According to: http://www.protection1.com/resources/back-to-school-safety/, helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by as much as 85%.
- Teach your child the rules of the road. This includes showing them the proper hand signals and how to avoid traffic and pedestrians.
- Choose the safest route, even if it might be a longer route, and try to have your child ride with others.
Inform your children to keep them safe while traveling to and from school! I would suggest buying safety whistles in case a stranger does approach them and they need to call for help. I would also suggest buying a keychain alarm, which can be used to alert people that are nearby. Both products are available on our website.