Are Your Kids Getting to School the Safest Way Possible?

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Are Your Kids Getting to School the Safest Way Possible? School’s back in session. And, as a parent, you’re thrilled to have the kids off the couch and doing something productive–like learning! But with back-to-school time also comes a few significant concerns. One of the major concerns many parents have is on-road safety, and transportation for their kids, to and from school.

The National Safety Council has released a back-to-school checklist  to help parents ensure they’re sending their kids off to school safely each day.

Bus Riders & Drivers

Of high concern to every parent is that their kids are safe. So, it’s essential to ensure they’re getting to school safely.  For parents sending their kids off on the bus, it is vital to inform them of dangers  and how to avoid them, getting on and off the bus each day. Some tips parents should give their children when riding the bus includes:

  • Standing a minimum of 6-feet away from the bus when it is approaching
  • Walking a minimum of 10-feet away from the front of the bus when crossing (crossing guard should help)
  • Looking both ways before crossing the road
  • Waiting for the bus to come to a complete stop
  • Being mindful of curbs, sidewalks, and oncoming traffic at all times.

Sure, it seems simple enough. But, when dealing with kids who are 5 to 6 years old, these are things parents must explain. And, even teens who ride the bus are often distracted. Therefore, it’s worth discussing the safety tips with them.

How about the teen driver? The concern of on-road accidents and fatalities are of high interest to many parents. Especially with teen driver fatalities on the rise . Parents, remind your kids to pay attention to the road. Put the cell phone down, better yet, disable it when they’re behind the wheel! Teach them proper driving distances, speeds, and how to drive in school zones. Consider enrolling them in a drivers education course . The more precautions you take, the more likely they’ll be mindful drivers, and help prevent injuries, keeping the roads safe.

Biking to School

Just because kids aren’t on a bus or behind the wheel, doesn’t mean dangers are avoided 100%. Walking to and biking to school is just as dangerous because of surrounding threats. For bikers, make sure kids know how to utilize proper hand signals for turning and are aware of appropriate distances from cars on the road. Also, make sure their helmet  is adjusted correctly, to prevent injuries if they do fall. Although cyclists should share the road  with drivers, many impulsive and distracted drivers, aren’t paying attention to them. Parents, make sure you teach your kids to pay attention to hazards to prevent major accidents.

Walking to School

Kids who are walking also have to be mindful of the dangers around them. For example, walking with traffic , rather than against it, is extremely important. Kids should look both ways (twice) before crossing and wait for the crossing guards’ instruction. But, it’s still worth mentioning!

Additionally, watching out for crosswalks  and stopping at an appropriate distance from the road, not walking with headphones on, and never walking and texting , are of high concern. Especially with all the mobile devices, kids have today.

Regardless of how kids get to school and back home, parents must teach them proper safety tips to ensure they are mindful of the dangers around them. So, even if some of these items seem obvious enough, discuss them with your kids. It’s worth mentioning the risks, and the simple steps they can take, to ensure their safety  now that school’s in session.