Back-to-School Route Safety Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe on Their Way to School
As we near the back-to-school season, it can be a difficult time for parents (or those stuck in traffic at school areas). Naturally, there are dozens of questions that will flow through a parent’s mind, like “What kind of supplies does a fifth grader need?” or “What’s the safest route my kids can take to school?” Knowing these are questions that my friends and clients are thinking about, I wanted to share some tips and tricks to make sure your kids get to school safely. Review their route to school before the first day. If your kids are walking to and from school, make sure they know the route like the back of their hand. Walk the route with them several times before the first day of school. While showing them the ropes, point out helpful street markers they can find if they think they’re lost. These can be specific houses, major buildings, street signs, etc. The early bird doesn’t get the worm. Find out when supervision is available before and after school. This can be found on the school website or by asking administrators at the school. This ensures that after your child gets to school safely, there’s someone to watch over them before their school day starts. Understand the rules of the road. If your kid plans to bike to school, go over the basic rules of the road. Here is a quick list of rules bicyclists should follow. Yield to pedestrians and vehicles already on the road. Ride in the same direction that traffic is driving in. • •
Yield before turning.
the designated area for a bus stop. Bus stops are usually on the side of a street, so the less running around in that area, the better. Make sure to go over where the bus stop is as well, even if it’s in your neighborhood. Children have a tendency to forget even the little things, so it never hurts to make sure they know the route. These are just a few ways to keep your kids safe to and from school as we approach back-to- school season. If you liked these or want to learn more tips to keep your kids safe, you can visit the National Safety Council’s website, NSC.org.
• Always use hand signals. Drop off the right way. Not knowing the drop- off procedures at your kids’ school can make for a very dangerous and stressful experience. Make sure to go over the drop-off steps with your children before the first day of school to ensure everyone is on the same page. While some procedures vary from school to school, the National Safety Council provides some universal steps and recommendations. Double parking can decrease the visibility of other drivers and kids at the drop-off zone. Always pick up your kids right at the drop- off/pick-up zone. Never try to have your kids cross the street to your car; the closer, the better. Carpooling reduces the risk of car accidents and the chances of a child being hit in the drop-off zone. This is also a great way to reduce the headache of traffic. • • •
Don’t ride on sidewalks.
Learn bus stop etiquette. With kids, you can never overstress the importance of staying in
Abide by all traffic signals.
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