Practicing Safety for Back to School

It’s that time of the year! Kids and their parents are flooding the nearest stores to get backpacks, pencils, notebooks and other school supplies before the school year starts. Making sure that kids have the necessities is very important, but ensuring they are safe at school is also critical. Safety starts with the students’ environment, especially in school zones.

In order to ensure the safety of children, there are a number of steps that can be taken in key areas: school buses, playgrounds, and driving zones.  Check out these tips to help you prepare before the school year starts:

School Buses:

  • Do not shout on the bus or distract the bus driver. Shouting and extra noise can distract a bus driver or prohibit them from hearing oncoming sirens from police or ambulances.
  • Do not walk in the driver’s blind spot. A school bus’s blind spot is from the front bumper to to roughly 10 feet in front of the bus.
  • Children must wait to get on or off the bus until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
  • When on the bus, children must be seated at all times to prevent injuries or being thrown from the back or front of the bus. Children must also keep all body parts inside of the bus, i.e head, arms and legs.
  • Make sure that children stay on the sidewalk or designated waiting area until the bus comes.  Prevent them from playing in the street and potentially getting hurt while oncoming traffic is approaching.

Playgrounds:

  • Alert someone at the school if something looks peculiar or unsafe on the playground.
  • Be mindful of any sharp or pointy edges. Also check to see if there is any equipment that may cause strangulation.
  • There should be a supervisor or multiple supervisors watching the kids at all times to make sure they aren’t wandering off to places they aren’t supposed to or jumping off of ledges, ramps, ladders, etc.

Driving in school zones:

  • Be mindful of drop-off and pick-up zones. Do not block or use emergency school lanes and do not use handicapped spots unless you have  a handicap pass.
  • Do not text while driving in school zones
  • Do not pass drivers or change lanes in a school zone
  • Watch out for children running or crossing the street
  • Look out for school zone signals and obey the speed limits.

Seeing so many hazards can be scary and overwhelming, but by knowing the surroundings, studying these tips, and taking the appropriate steps, one will be better prepared and ensure a successful school year for all children!

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