Categories Menu

Sound Advice – Back To School Safety Checklist

With the start of the new school year, here are few considerations to keep all our kids safe as they go to and from school.

school safetyBus safety

  • Teach your kids to always play it SAFE
  • Stay five steps away from the curb
  • Always wait for the bus driver to say when to board
  • Face forward after finding a seat
  • Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.
  • Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (nhtsa.org)
  • Link:  https://www.nhtsa.gov/back-school-safety
  • Make it a habit to arrive at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive
  • Make sure that your child stays out of the street and avoids excessive “horseplay” while waiting for the bus
  • Make sure your kids understand they must stay seated and keep their arms and head inside the bus at all times
  • Explain to kids about the driver’s blind spot – from the front of the bus to about 10 feet in front of the bus – and that they must not walk that close to the front of the bus.

Dropping off /picking up in a school zone

  • Learn about your school’s specific drop off and pick up procedures
  • Don’t double park: it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
  • Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
  • Don’t use handicapped spaces or emergency vehicle lanes unless you have a permit to do so
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Source: National Safety Council    (nsc.org)

Link: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/seasonal-safety/back-to-school/drivers

 

school safety

Two grade school students wait at a cross walk for oncoming traffic to pass

Walking to school

  • Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by an adult
  • Walk in groups for safety; teach children never to accept rides from strangers
  • Plan the route and teach your children to always take the same route and never take “shortcuts”
  • Use the sidewalk whenever possible; if there’s no sidewalk, walk on the edge of the street facing oncoming traffic.
  • Focus on the surroundings when walking – no time for “horseplay” or distractions
  • Use crosswalks whenever available
  • Look left-right-left before crossing any street

Source: nhtsa.org

 

Biking to school

  • Children should always wear a properly fitting helmet with the chinstrap securely fastened
  • Ride in groups for safety
  • Ride the same direction as the traffic and follow traffic signs and signals; teach children to use hand signals for turning, etc.
  • Ride in bike lanes whenever possible
  • Use sidewalks appropriately and watch out for pedestrians
  • Never use electronics while riding… this includes cell phones and ear buds for music!

 

school safetyTeenage drivers

  • Only let your children drive with a responsible, safe driver who has completed a driver’s ed course
  • The car shouldn’t move until everyone has buckled their seat belt
  • No distractions allowed while driving- no cell phones, food, tuning radio, etc.
  • Let teens know that driving to school is a privilege that will be revoked if you receive a report of unsafe driving behavior, even by the passengers
  • Know the NY state laws regarding teen drivers and make sure your kids follow them

school safetyDriving in school zones

  • Always obey crossing guard signals
  • Do not block a crosswalk
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Never pass a vehicle, change lanes or make U-turns while in a school zone.
  • Allow extra car lengths when behind a school bus; stop back far enough to allow kids to safely enter and exit the school bus
  • Be alert: children are unpredictable and may run into the street without looking at any moment

 

school safetyBackpacks and apparel

  • To avoid back injuries, choose an appropriately-sized backpack for your child’s height and weight; a fully loaded backpack should weigh no more than 10-15% of the child’s body weight
  • Choose backpacks with wide straps and padding in the back
  • Teach your kids to put the heavier items in first and use both straps to help distribute weight evenly
  • Remove drawstrings from jackets. sweatshirts and hooded shirts to reduce the risk of strangulation injuries.