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Safety tips for kids during back-to-school travel

Whether they’re walking or biking to school, riding the bus, or driving on their own, here are safety tips to teach your children as they head back to school.

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.

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