4 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe When They Go Back to School
A new school year is an exciting time for kids, whether it is their first time driving to school or they are looking forward to seeing their friends again.
Here are some back-to-school safety tips for kids and teens.
1. Teach kids to bike to school safely
Biking to school can be convenient for your child and is a great way for them to get some exercise. Make sure they:
- Have a bike that is the correct size for them and their feet can reach the ground.
- Wear a helmet that fits well.
- Use a safe route along well-lit streets with little traffic.
- Understand traffic laws.
- Bike on the right side of the road and as far right as they can.
- Know how to signal on a bike.
- Know about potential hazards like driveways and crosswalks.
- Bike with a friend.
- Have bike lights and wear reflective vests when the mornings and evenings are darker.
2. Pass on these safe driving tips for teens
Your teen has probably been looking forward to driving to school for a while and it might also make your life easier. Just make sure to remind them to drive safely.
- Make sure young drivers understand the rules of their driver’s license, such as the number of passengers they can have and during which hours of the day they are permitted to drive.
- Help them find the safest route to and from school and practice driving it with them.
- They should never drive tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Review the rules of the road with them.
- Make sure they know what to do in school zones. Drivers must slow down and obey speed limits, not pass other cars, and stop for school buses.
- Tell teen drivers to watch for crossing guards, crosswalks, and pedestrians.
3. Teach your kids playground safety tips
Recess is the best part of the day for many kids. Help them stay safe by:
- Discussing playground rules like taking turns.
- Making sure they know which adult to talk to if they are involved in a conflict with another child or feel unsafe.
- Teaching them their address, your phone number, and names and phone numbers of caregivers and emergency contacts.
- Making sure they are dressed appropriately for the weather and not wearing items that can cause injury such as scarves, drawstrings, or jewelry.
- Showing them which playground equipment they can use, making sure it is not rusted or broken, and has impact absorbent surfaces like rubber mats. They should only use playground equipment when it is dry.
- Telling them not to spend too much time at the playground when the weather is very hot or sunny and to drink lots of water.
4. Make sure kids do not walk or drive distracted
Kids may not realize how dangerous distracted walking can be, so it is important to talk to them about not using phones and devices when walking to school. Remind them to use these safety tips for walking to school:
- Kids should not text or talk on the phone while walking to school or crossing the street.
- They should stop and move out of the way if they need to use their device.
- Children should be aware of their surroundings when walking.
- They should walk on sidewalks whenever possible and, if there is no sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic.
- Kids should cross at crosswalks and look left, right, and then left again before they cross.
If your teen is driving to school, make sure they know to avoid distractions. Teach them to:
- Never use their phone or device while driving.
- Keep the volume of their music low.
- Limit the number of passengers in their car and avoid distracting conversations.
- Not do their morning routine, like putting on makeup, in the car.
- Not to eat or drink while driving.
- Pay attention to the road when passing an accident instead of rubbernecking.