Back to School Safety Tips for Kids
The time has come for kids to go back to school, much to their delight…
Although the summer has hopefully been a relaxing and care-free break for your kids, it’s important that they are educated and aware of the potential hazards that even something as simple as going to school can bring. Unfortunately so, we often think of violence at schools as one of the more prominent risks, but in fact it is still the unintentional accidents that top the incident list.
We’ve put together a simple list that you can review with your child(ren) to help ensure they have safety in mind when going to school everyday.
Back to School Safety Tips
1. It’s not only moving vehicles that are a danger. Many accidents happen on driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots, especially in “back-over” or “front-over” incidents. If you are driving your kids to work, take extra precautions when backing up in your own driveway and in school parking lots. You need your full alertness, so even picking up your phone for a second is not a good idea. You should also educate your kids on the following:
- Just because they see a car, doesn’t mean it sees them. They should make eye contact with the driver before crossing a street.
- Treat a parked car as if it has a driver in it. Don’t run around parking lots, and don’t cut in blindly behind a vehicle, as you never know when it might be ready to back up. Children should never remain still either when in a blind spot of a vehicle, such as to tie a shoe or pick something up.
- As always, don’t rush across a street and always look both ways.
- If you are driving your kids to school, drop them off as close to the school as possible and don’t leave until you can see that they’ve entered the premises.
2. Plan their route to school. If your child walks to school, you should develop a route plan with them that involves the least amount of street-crossings and busy roads. You should also walk the route with them beforehand. Teach them the following:
- Stay away from hidden areas where they can’t be seen, like empty parking lots, parks, behind buildings, etc.
- Always walk with a buddy! You might even try to organize with other kids nearby to walk to school together.
- Never speak to strangers.
- Obey all traffic signals.
- If they are biking to school, make sure they wear a helmet and walk their bycicle across intersections and roads.
3. Make sure they know your contact information. Whether your child ends up taking the wrong school bus and needs to tell the driver their address or has to phone home for any reason, this is always very important information to know.
4. Educate them on safety at school. Although we would like to be able to think of schools as a safe place, we also need to teach our children how to look out for themselves. Some points to educate them on are:
- When playing in the school yard or on the playground, don’t push, shove or overcrowd.
- Teach your children the importance of treating others with respect and kindness. Bullying is an increasingly large problem and parents can help by educating children early on. You should also teach them how to deal with bullying, including walking away or telling them to stop. If it persists, they should tell a teacher.
- If you notice or hear of any dangers or potential risks at your child’s school, such as faulty playground equipment or strange objects found, report it to the school.
With a little caution and preparation, we can make school a much safer, enjoyable and rewarding place. Hope everyone has a great school year!
– The ONA Team.