Back to School Safety Tips
Here at Hale Law, we hope everyone had a safe and exciting summer – even if the temperatures were a bit high! As summer break ends, it’s time to prepare again for returning to school. For parents, that means ensuring that their kids stay safe. School safety begins before your child walks out the door every morning, meaning that parents can teach good habits no matter the child’s age. Here are some essential safety tips for back-to-school. We hope they help to guide you to avoid accidents and injury during the school year.
Safety Tips for All Types of School Transport
No matter what type of transportation your child uses – from school bus to bicycle – it is vital to be aware of any potential dangers. Let’s take a look at how most kids get to school and how parents can protect them:
Walking: Although less prevalent than in the past, many children within close proximity to their school still walk to and from classes. It is excellent exercise, and Bradenton, Sarasota, and other parts of Florida certainly have the weather for it. Parents of “walkers” should be aware of the following safety tips.
- Children should walk in groups with other neighborhood kids. If you do not know other families, walk with your child until you meet other children they can “buddy up” with. Walking with the child can also help identify potential danger areas, such as tricky intersections, and parents can point out intersections with good signage or crossing guards.
- Children should know to always walk on the sidewalk. It can be fun to run across to meet friends or pet a friendly dog, but be sure your child understands the importance of using the sidewalk, especially when many cars leave for work and school.
- Many children have phones these days, but it is essential that their phone stays stored away when walking. Kids need to be alert and aware of the flow of traffic. Parents may wish to install an app that will keep them apprised of their child’s location throughout the day.
Biking: Older children often prefer to ride their bike to school or the bus stop, where they can lock it up for the day. Riding a bicycle has its own set of potential hazards, so parents should make sure that their children:
- Utilize any existing bike lanes, and make sure they pay attention so they do not suddenly swerve out of them.
- Ride single file if riding with friends to avoid someone being too close to vehicle traffic flow.
- Keep their phones stored away.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing and protective equipment, especially a proper bike helmet.
Riding a bus: School bus operators are typically well-trained, but parents should make sure that children:
- Wait for the bus at the designated location with the other children.
- Stay on the sidewalk until the bus makes a complete stop.
- Understand the rules about crossing in front of the bus, if necessary.
- Know their bus stop and can recognize where to get off.
Teens driving to school: Inexperienced drivers (especially teens) frequently get into car accidents. Parents can help by ensuring the child is a good driver before allowing them to drive independently. While it may be convenient to let new drivers take themselves to school, it could be dangerous. Parents should drive the route to the school with their child over the summer to familiarize the teen with the roads. Parents should also set strict rules about phones, friends, and schedules.
School Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility
Even if you do not have children, it is important to be aware of the thousands of kids traveling to and from school daily. All drivers must:
- Travel through neighborhoods slowly and know where the bus stops are.
- Know the rules about stopping for or passing a school bus. Always be hyper-vigilant around a stopped bus, as a child may appear at any time.
- Be aware of all crosswalks on your route and observe posted speed limits.
- Understand that children may not be aware of all the traffic rules – in other words, take responsibility for ensuring that kids get across the street safely.
We hope everyone has a safe and happy school year.
Accidents can happen even with safety tips in place and people being alert and aware. If you or a family member has been involved in an accident and needs a personal injury attorney, call the team at Hale Law.