As the dog days of summer come to a close and we begin to hear the groans of children heading back to school, we should take a moment to sit down with our kids and teach them about safety. After all, for some parents this will be the first time thier child has not been in their care or a trusted confidant’s care for more than a few hours. We all know that school can be a veritable treasure trove of adventure and imagination, but unfortunately it can also be quite dangerous for young children who are not aware of their surroundings. One of the most underlooked areas of danger involves children going to and from school. We can all name several dangers in the classroom, but many times we forget, it is in this short trek home or to school where many of the most tragic accidents occur.
Undoubtedly, we have all seen the terrible headlines flash across the screen where a school bus filled with children is involved in an accident. Many times, unfortunately, injuries that do occur could be avoided if the children were taught a few simple rules about bus safety. It is important to remember that accidents involving children occur not only during transportation but also during pickup and drop off. Here are a few simple rules that you should take time to explain to your kids.
- · Stop and look both ways before crossing the road.
- · Use the safest, most direct route between home and the school.
- · Cross only at school crossings manned by crossing supervisors or pedestrian crossings.
- · Walk on a sidewalk or footpath whenever possible.
- · Understand the meanings of traffic light colors.
- · Remain seated in the bus when it is moving. Explain the dangers of running around or jumping in the bus.
- · Stand at least 10 feet (five giant steps) away from the road while waiting for the bus.
- · Walk in groups to the bus stop. There is safety in numbers as children are more visible when they walk in groups.
- · Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting on or off.
- · Tell the children exactly where you will be picking them up after school.
I hope these simple guidelines will help keep your children safe. Have a great school year.