It’s hard to believe another school year is rolling around! Parents are busy buying supplies and new clothes, ready to take that “first day of school” picture of their little students! This is an important time for students, parents, and teachers to get the year started off with a bang. It’s up to everyone to see that these kids are safe while they are on a school bus, crossing the street, or being carpooled.
Drivers must pay special attention as they approach crosswalks and are in neighborhoods where kids are walking to school. They may be busy talking to each other and forget to be as careful as they should. That’s when we all must do our part to ensure their safety. When you are backing out of your driveway, take it a little slower, just in case there are some small pedestrians in your drive. Be watchful for children on and near the road in the morning and after school. Take extra time to watch for children on medians, curbs, and at intersections. Slow down and be alert. Turn your cell phone off and concentrate on the road while you are driving in school zones.
Until a child is 10 years old, they should cross the street with an adult. If they walk to school, help find another child they can walk with. Caution them to cross only at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks, or obey the crosswalk guard. Kids should know never to run into the streets or cross in between parked cars.
School bus safety is very important. Tell your child to wait for the bus to stop before stepping off the curb. They should stay seated while on the bus, and use lap or shoulder straps if the bus has them. Children should always get on and off the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or school building. They should always remain in the driver’s view.
If they ride a bike to school, make sure they always wear a helmet. They should ride on the right side of the road, with the direction of auto traffic. Teach them to use the correct hand signals. Wearing brightly colored clothing will increase visibility; also, there are high visibility stickers that could be placed on the bike or backpack to help be noticed.
In several states, record-high temperatures continue to be recorded. Consideration should be given about food safety, for children who take their lunch. It’s been noted that foods that should be refrigerated spoil during the time they stay in lunchboxes. Choose what you send carefully; non-perishables would be best, or ask the teacher is if there is a small refrigerator in the room that your child’s lunchbox or sack lunch could be kept until lunchtime.
Backpacks should have wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Heavier items should be packed closer to the center of the backpack. It should never weigh more than 10 to 20 per cent of the weight of your child. Rolling backpacks are a good choice for students with a heavy load of books, etc. Just be sure the school allows this type of backpack, and that it won’t have to be lugged up stairs.
There are so many things to express about school safety. We wish every child from Pre-K to 12 a very happy school year! Good luck to the parents, too!