No matter how old your kids are, there’s nothing crazier or more chaotic than the month school starts. Lists of supplies are endless, they’ve grow out of clothes and shoes, their hair needs a trim, and the whole family needs a refresh on school routines and safety. Let Supplementally Speaking handle the safety plans with our top 10 ways to keep school kids safe this year.
- Carry smart. When selecting a bag for your child, choose an ergonomic design that is no larger than your child’s torso. Opt for padded straps, chest and hip belts and some reflective material to help with visibility.1
- Lighten the Load. Protect your child’s back by limiting backpack weight to 10 percent of body weight.2
- Pack strategically. Help your child determine what needs to be carried home at night and what doesn’t to keep weight in check.3
- Practice ahead of time. Even if your child traveled to school on their own last year, run through this year’s route, reviewing traffic, safety and important etiquette rules.4
- Buddy up. Walking or biking to school is healthy and fun, but it’s safer in groups. Help your child find friends who travel the same route.5
- Don a helmet. If biking or riding a scooter or skateboard to school, it’s vital to enforce helmet wearing to reduce risk of injury. In the case of scooters and skateboards, add knee and elbow protection, too.6
- Boarding the bus. If you know one of the 25 million children who take a bus to school, ensure they wait and board safely. Kids should stay in the designated stop and out of the street while waiting. Encourage them to avoid roughhousing and use the handrail while getting on board.7
- Ride well. Bus riders should buckle up when belts are available and be on their best behavior during the ride. Personal belongings should be in laps and out of walkways.8
- Exiting the bus. Getting off is always exciting, so it’s important to be clear on safety procedures. Children should cross at least 10 feet in front of the bus in clear view of the driver and avoid crossing behind the vehicle.9
- No strangers, no matter what. Getting to school alone is a wonderful confidence and independence builder, but it does expose kids to the outside world. Talk to them about the dangers, make sure they know never to talk to strangers, determine friendly stops along their route and ensure they have your phone number memorized.10
With just a little thought, planning and practice, your family will be ready to safely hit the books this fall and have everything you need for a safe year ahead.
1,2, 3 "Backpack Safety: It's Time to Lighten the Load." National Safety Council. National Safety Council, n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2017.
4, 5, 6, 10 Many, Christine. "Back-to-School Safety Tips | Reader's Digest." Reader's Digest. LifeRich Publishing, 27 July 2017. Web. 12 Aug. 2017.
7,8,9 "Buses are the Safest Mode of Transportation for School Children." National Safety Council. National Safety Council, n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2017.