National Safety Council offers back-to-school safety tips

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 9:18am

As summer draws to a close, back-to-school season is in full effect, and safety should be a priority for every family as children return to classrooms this fall.

It is important for parents to stay up-to-date on the proper safety precautions and share this information with their children to keep them safe throughout the school year.

Here is a back-to-school safety checklist you can use to make sure your children are fully prepared for the school year. 

Transportation Safety
Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels
to school.

Walking to school

  • Review your family’s walking safety rules.
  • Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
  • Before you cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming.
  • Never dart out in front of a parked car.
  • Practice walking to school with your child.
  • Riding a bicycle to school
  • Make sure your child always wears his helmet when leaving the house.
  • Teach your children the rules of the road they need to know to ride their bicycles.
  • Ride on the right side of the road and in a single file.
  • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street.

Riding the bus to school

  • Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the
  • bus.
  • Make sure your children stand six feet away from the curb.
  • If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are at least 12 feet ahead of the bus. You always should be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver always should be able to see you.

School Safety
Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your
child’s safety at school.

Preventing backpack-related injuries

  • Chose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
  • Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
  • For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than 12 pounds.
  • Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight.

Preventing playground-related injuries

  • Encourage your child only to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Avoid playgrounds with concrete, grass and dirt surfaces, as they are too hard.
  • Children under the age of four should not use climbing equipment and watch older children when they’re climbing.
  • Do not let your children use monkey bars. They are unsafe and should not be used by children of any age.  

For more safety tips, click here.

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