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Back to School Safety Tips

Kids are going back to school. Whether they walk, bike, take public transportation or are dropped off, listed below are some quick tips to keeping your young children and teenagers safe.

Bicycle Safety for Kids

  • Have your kids wear protective gear (properly fitted helmet and wearing appropriate and light colored or reflective clothing, etc.)
  • Inspect the bicycle with your child on a regular basis (check reflectors, brakes, lights, gears shift, tires, etc.)
  • Each child assesses and judges speed and traffic differently (have your young child ride on the sidewalk and teach your child to stay alert and watch for cars and trucks and pedestrians, as well as other cyclists)
  • If your teenager is old enough, teach him/her to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic (not against it). Teach them to always stay as far to the right as possible and to use designated bike paths
  • Teach your children to use appropriate hand signals (to let drivers know which direction your child is going), respect and follow traffic signals and signs, and to make sure they stop at all stop signs and stoplights. Teach them to be extra alert and to always scan the road
  • Tell your children to make eye contact with drivers, to make sure the driver sees them
  • Discuss with your children to be extra cautious and safe when riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening
  • This is a great way to help kids get fresh air and exercise and stay healthy

Skating & Skateboarding Safety for Kids

  • Have your kids wear protective gear (especially a properly fitted helmet, knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, and appropriate clothing
  • Teach your child to check for broken parts, loose parts, cracks, or anything that could be a potential hazard or problem
  • Teach him/her how to minimize the impact of falling (rolling, tucking in, sliding, etc.)
  • Explain to your children why they should rid on smooth and dry surfaces,away from traffic and in a well-illuminated area
  • This is a great way to help kids get fresh air and exercise and stay healthy

Pedestrian Safety for Kids

  • Teach your children how to safely cross the street. Practice with your child, until he/she becomes more comfortable. Every child is different and it may be difficult for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until they are older
  • Repeat and repeat again: tell kids to look left, right and left again when crossing the street
  • Teach them to never run or dart out into the street
  • Teach your kids to always use the sidewalk and cross the street using crosswalks, especially at busy intersections
  • Explain to your children that when there is no sidewalk, to walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
  • When walking to school, it is best for children to wear bright colored clothing
  • This is a great way to help kids get fresh air and exercise and stay healthy

Bus Safety for Kids (School Bus or Public Transit)

  • Teach your kids to always wait at the bus stop and stand well back from the curb and oncoming cars
  • Go over “danger zones” where the bus driver cannot see exiting or entering passengers
  • Make sure you explain to your children that school buses wait for children to get off the bus and cross the street; hile public buses move away from the bus stop as soon as passengers have gotten on or off
  • Ride the bus with your children and point out proper etiquette when they ride alone (no loud radio playing, no screaming/yelling, being respectful to others, when to approach the bus driver with a question, show them the stop where to get on/off and what happens if he/she misses it, etc)
  • Teach your kids that as soon as they walk off the bus, they need to be alert and cautious. They should never cross the street in front of the bus. They should wait until the bus pulls away and they have a clear view of the street. If possible, have them cross the street at a crossing signal

Dropping Kids off at School by Vehicle

  • Drop off your kids at the designated drop off/pick up area
  • Do not park across the street from the drop location. There are kids walking, skipping, running and not paying attention which could be dangerous, especially with oncoming cars coming to drop off/pick up kids
  • Do not park/use the school’s bus loading zone since this area is designated for school buses only
  • Do not park in someone’s driveway, even if it is for a few minutes; be respectful to others
  • Always leave a few minutes early when picking up kids from school. There is no need to rush/speed and you will not put your kids’ safety or others at risk
  • Be courteous and respectful to other parents, reduce traffic jams and do not linger on school property. Once you have your kids in the car, slowly and cautiously leave. Give other parents who are still waiting or have just arrived an chance to park

Parents get more anxious as their kids grow older and want more freedom. This is a great opportunity to teach them, show them, and instruct them on how to become more independent and how to take care of themselves. Parents need to stress the importance of the little things kids should do to stay safe. It is vital that parents not only talk with their kids and teenagers, but also be a role model. Adults should help their children be safe and to be active young commuters.

If you are uncomfortable letting your child walk to school, talk to other parents and see if you could arrange a “walk together” with other kids. You can also organize walking children to school with other parents who live in the neighborhood and switch days. If you are horribly afraid of letting your child got to school on his/her own, you can build up walking or cycling with your children all the way to school, then halfway, and then having them go on their own.

Whatever means of transportation you and your child chooses, always do it together first. Let the child familiarize himself/herself with the route and meanwhile you can go over safety procedures. Set good examples for your children: obey road rules, such as crossing the road at designated pedestrian crossings, looking left, right and left again, etc. Engage your kids with questions and fun safety trivia and watch how your kids navigate streets and their overall behavior and attentiveness.

Lastly, be patient and allow time for your kids to learn road safety procedures. Morici, Figlioli & Associates provides numerous episodes on safety and how to be aware of potential hazards. You can watch these safety videos on our YouTube channel.

Morici, Figlioli & Associates offers free consultations. Our staff is available to speak Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm at (312) 779-0366. We are also available via email at info@office.moricifiglioli.com.

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