School is back in session, which means it’s time to revisit safety rules with your child. Our team is sharing some of our top tips to help your whole family stay safe, from the youngest member to the oldest. Get ready to hit the books and learn how you can avoid injuries and accident.
School Safety Tips
- Plan the route to school or the bus ahead of time. Does your child walk to school or to their bus stop? Take some time to plan the route and review it with them. Choose a path that Is the most direct way possible, while also choosing a route with the fewest street crossings. If possible, try to have your child cross at intersections with crossing guards. Walk the route with them a few times and look out for dangers, such as vacant lots, fields, parks, and other isolated areas, as well as construction zones, alleyways, and other risks.
- Coach your child on what to do if they are approached by strangers. Reinforce that they should never talk to strangers, help strangers, or accept rides or gifts from them. A stranger is anyone that your child doesn’t know or trust. Talk to them about what to do if someone tries to touch them or grab them without permission, and where they can get help.
- Always make sure your child walks to and from school with another person. This can be a sibling, friend, family member, or neighbor. Establish who is okay to walk home with.
- Establish a pick-up code. If you’re not able to get your child from school, have a plan in place. Who is on your list of safe people to pick them up? Tell your child about what happens if you can’t come to get them. You may even want to pick a secret code to tell anyone who is picking up your child on your behalf, so your child knows that you sent them.
- If you drive your child to school, drop them off in designated drop-off zones and remain there until they are safely through the gate or inside the building. Using non-designated drop-off areas can block traffic, and there may not be adult supervision to ensure your child is safe.
- Make sure your child wears the right safety gear. If your child bikes to school, rides a scooter, or takes a skateboard, be sure they are wearing a helmet that meets safety standards. Helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by up to 85%. They also should wear any elbow or knee pads that are necessary, and wears sturdy shoes. Bike accidents can have serious consequences.
- Teach your children to arrive at the bus stop early and to wait safely. They should know where it is safe to wait, know to wait until the bus is completely stopped, and how to look for cars when crossing a street.
- Talk to them about the right way to ride the bus. They should always sit “bottom to bottom, back to back” in their seat and not stand, walk around, or climb on the seats. They also should keep their heads and arms inside the bus. They need to wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up and exiting, as well as to always use the handrails to avoid falls. Teach them to always cross the street at least 10 huge steps (or 10 feet) in front of the bus and to never stop, bend over, pick something up, or tie their shoe in front of the bus. They need to know that the bus driver can’t always see them, so they should be extra careful.
- Be sure they know your home address, your cell phone number, the number of one trusted adult, and how to call 911. Make a song or a game out of the information and drill them on it until they have it completely memorized.
- Remind your children how to safely and properly use all playground equipment. They should never climb up slides or along the outsides of structures, stand on swings, or stick their fingers, arms, legs, or heads into holes or through railings.
- Teach your children how to avoid germs. They should know how to properly wash their hands, to avoid touching their face, and cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. This can help keep them from catching illnesses and help them stay healthy at school.
Your child’s safety is important, which is why we’re dedicated to helping you protect your family and prevent accidents. If your child is injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of Toledo personal injury attorneys. We’re backed by more than 100 years of legal experience, and we are ready to pursue justice for your family. Schedule a free consultation with Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. to learn more.