Back-to-school time is almost here. Are you and your kids ready to stay safe?
August is National Back-to-School Safety Month in the United States, and the National Safety Council offers a number of recommendations to help your family make a safe transition from the lazy days of summer. As you start shopping for school supplies and getting the kids ready to head off to school, don’t forget that a little preparation can also go a long way toward preventing injuries and accidents. Here are some important things to keep in mind and talk with your kids about before classes are in session again.
Traffic is one of the biggest dangers at any time of year, but back-to-school time means more vehicles and pedestrians on the road—especially during morning drop-offs and when school gets out in the afternoon. No matter how you and your children get back and forth to school, make sure you know how to do it safely.
Before the first day of school, practice walking to and from school with your children. Make sure they know that they should pay attention to the road and the people around them on the sidewalk—and that means not “texting and walking” or being too focused on other distractions. Remind them that, when walking, you should:
If it’s a little further between school and home, your child may be planning to hop on his or her bike to make the journey. Make sure that your kids:
School buses may be a common sight on the road when classes are in session, but these huge vehicles can be a danger to children, pedestrians, and drivers who don’t understand the rules. Whether you often share the road with buses or have a child who rides the bus to school, check out these tips for being safe around school buses.
Teens often drive themselves to school or catch a ride with driving-age friends, and the safety issues they face are often very different from those faced by younger children. Here are some things you should talk about with your teen before he or she gets behind the wheel or hops in with a friend:
Make sure your teen understands your other household rules for driving safely, such as limiting passengers or not driving at night.
For kids who are old enough to spend an hour or two at home alone before Mom and Dad get home from work, it’s important to talk about staying safe. While you don’t want your children to be afraid, you do want them to be careful. Here are some topics you might want to cover:
Injuries at school are surprisingly common, even though schools and teachers usually do their best to prevent problems. However, many of these accidents take place on the playground, and many of them are preventable with a little care. Make sure that your child understands how to use playground equipment safely, and check to see if the playgrounds your child frequents have soft surfaces to help protect kids. Young children should always be supervised by adults when using playground equipment.
Children can develop back and shoulder injuries related to backpack use, so make sure that you help your child:
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