On the travel between school and home, about 150,000 students suffer injuries every year. Before the first-day school bell rings, discuss these safety tips to help keep your child safe.
Safety tips for when your child walks to school
While a fun and easy way to get in some exercise, there are some pedestrian safety tips to remember while walking to school.
- Map out a safe route on sidewalks and across crosswalks.
- Practice walking the route with your child before the first day of school. Talk about traffic and crosswalks, looking both ways and making sure a car comes to a full stop.
- Find schoolmates who live along the way and want to walk, too. Always have a buddy and never walk alone.
- Outfit your child with helpful safety gear, including reflective tape on backpacks, jackets or shoes.
- Stress that phones should be put away, and eyes forward and alert.
Tips for when riding a bike to school
For some kids, riding a bike to school is convenient and fun. Review the following safety tips for bike riding.
- Find the safest route possible on well-lit streets with minimal traffic.
- Invest in safety gear, including bike lights and a properly fitting helmet.
- Discuss traffic rules and bike signaling.
- Don’t bike alone and always have a buddy to ride with.
School bus safety tips
For most kids, the school bus is how they get to school. Follow school bus safety and remember:
- Introduce yourself and your child to the bus driver.
- Review bus stop rules such as waiting away from the road and always crossing in front of the bus, not behind.
- Remind kids to sit quietly while the bus is in motion and follow any additional rules the bus driver has.
- Go over what stop to get off at, along with what to do if your child accidentally gets off at the wrong stop.
- Explain the importance of always being in clear sight of the bus driver.
Tips for teens who drive to school
Learning to drive is a rite of passage for most teens, but one that comes with increased responsibility.
- Establish safe routes to and from school, and have your child practice driving the route with a licensed adult.
- Prohibit smartphone use and driving, which is now illegal in many states.
- Understand the state laws for teen driving such as passenger restrictions.
- Limit driver distraction by banning eating and drinking while driving.
Playground Safety tips at school
School playgrounds are a fun place for kids with some simple playground safety tips.
- Talk about playground safety rules, such as making sure equipment is dry and taking turns.
- Help kids identify a specific adult to ask for help if they feel unsafe or have a difficult interaction with another child.
- Work with younger kids to help them memorize your contact information, specifically phone numbers of parents, other caregivers, and emergency contacts.