With most students starting back to school this week, parents and children have spent time organizing and planning school supplies, clothes and lunches.
However, one thing they may not have thought about is planning for their child's back-to-school safety.
About 150,000 students suffer injuries every year on the travel between school and home, according to State Farm insurance.
The insurance company offered these tips to help parents keep their child safe this school year:
If your child walks:
• Map out a safe route on sidewalks and crosswalks. • Practice walking the route with your child and talk about traffic and crosswalks, including looking both ways and making sure a vehicle comes to a full stop before crossing. • Find schoolmates who live along the way to walk with your child. • Outfit your child with safety gear such as reflective tape on backpacks, jackets or shoes to help with darker mornings or evenings. • Phones should be put away so the child can stay alert.
If your child bikes:
• Look for the safest route with well-lit streets and minimal traffic. • Invest in safety gear such as bike lights and a properly-fitting helmet. • Discuss traffic rules and bike signaling.
If your child takes the bus:
• Introduce yourself and your child to the bus driver. • Review bus stop rules such as waiting away from the road and always crossing in front of the bus, not behind. • Remind kids to sit quietly while the bus is in motion and follow bus rules. • Go over what stop to get off at, along with what to do if your child accidentally gets off at the wrong stop.
If your child drives:
• Establish safe routes to and from school. • Prohibit phone use and driving, including absolutely no texting while driving. • Make sure your child understands state laws for teen driving, including passenger restrictions.
While at school:
• Talk about playground safety rules. • Help kids identify an adult to ask for help if they feel unsafe or have a difficult interaction with another child. • Work with younger kids to help them memorize your contact information such as phone numbers of parents or other caregivers.
– Journal Gazette