Part 1 in a 3-Part Series
As we close the book on summer 2017, teachers and administrators across the country welcome students to a school year that’s rife with opportunity and promise. To make sure your student starts 2017-2018 off right, follow these simple safety steps, which are important whether your child is just beginning his educational journey or is close to earning a degree. Not to brag, but my son, J.R. is the top of his class in puppy kindergarten. This week, our post focuses on how to keep your child safe on the way to and from school. Check back, for part two in the series, when we provide tips for being safe from bullying. Our final post will focus on safety before, during and after natural and manmade disasters.
Safety on the Way to School: Biking or Walking – Teach your students to:
- Check with the school to make sure biking is allowed and that racks are provided so the bicycle can be safely stowed on arrival.
- Wear a safe helmet, since helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%.
- Choose sidewalks or pathways wherever possible, even if using them lengthens the trip.
- Travel as far from motor vehicles as possible. If sidewalks or designated paths are unavailable, students should walk on the side of the street facing traffic.
- Look both ways before crossing the street, and not to talk to strangers. This is one of the first things we taught our son, J.R.
- Find a buddy so they won’t have to go it alone.
- Follow directions of the crossing guard, if one is present.
- Cross streets only at corners, at traffic signals or designated crosswalks.
- Make eye contact with drivers before passing in front of motor vehicles.
- Stay alert. Students should pay attention to cars that are backing up or turning. This is a good idea for everyone! Eyes open, people!
- Avoid running into the street or crossing between parked cars.
- Wear retroreflective materials to make sure they can be seen.
Taking the Bus – Tell your students to:
- Familiarize themselves with the bus stop.
- Introduce themselves to the driver the first day of school.
- Allow plenty of time to get to the bus stop.
- Wait patiently at the stop and not to board or exit the vehicle until it comes to a complete stop.
- Respect the driver as well as other students.
Teen crashes spike in September as secondary kids head back to school. But the reasons for this may be surprising. Teenage drivers tend to crash not because they are careless but because they are inexperienced. They struggle when judging gaps in traffic, driving the right speed for road conditions and executing safe turns. What’s more:
- 66% of teen passengers who die in a crash are not wearing a seat belt.
- 58% of teens involved in crashes are distracted.
- 25% of car crashes involve an underage drinking driver.
- 5% of teens who die in crashes are pedestrians and 10% are bicyclists.
The National Safety Council campaign, “Drive It Home” focuses on the importance of ongoing parental instruction. Don’t end driver’s training as soon your child is licensed. Continue to mentor your young driver. Be sure to check back when we focus on back-to-school safety relative to bullying. Our final post in the series will cover safety before, during and after natural and manmade disasters.
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