And just like that, summer’s over.
There are plenty of parents here at McNabola Law Group who are sending their young kids back to school. A new school year is exciting, but the time off means we’ve forgotten some of our safe habits. It’s not just the kids who need to relearn some things once school is back in session.
But we’re here to help! Here are some tips to get the school year off to a safe start.
Things to work on before school starts:
• Be sure that your child knows their information: home phone number, address, at least one parent’s cell phone number, the number of another trusted adult and how to call 911 for emergencies.
• Review the rules about talking to strangers with your child. That is, don’t do it.
Getting to and from school:
• If your child is walking to school, plan the route beforehand and walk it with them. The most direct way may not be the safest, so chose the quickest route that has few street crossings and, ideally, crossing guards.
• Don’t walk alone. Maybe you can accompany your child on their walk every day, though that’s inconvenient to parents and also inhibits the child’s growing independence. Walking to school with another group of kids can be much safer, as it’s much easier for drivers to see
• We’ve already talked about bus safety, so rereading the blog on that would be a good reminder. Short version: no horseplay at the bus stop, keep clear of the road, make sure the driver can see you at all times.
• Biking to school is quick and convenient, but make sure it’s safe. Be sure your child wears a helmet at all times — research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent.
• Wear at least some bright colors. Thankfully the neon of the 90’s is back in style — a bright-orange backpack is much easier for drivers to spot.
And it’s not just kids who have to practice safe habits. If you’re picking up your child at school, please recognize that their safety lies with you. Keep your eyes on the road during pickup and drop off. You should never drive distracted, but it’s especially dangerous in a school zone. And remember that kids, since they don’t know how to drive, also don’t know the rules of the road. So give them a wide berth and always yield to pedestrians.
As with so many of the tips we’ve discussed, it’s a few simple steps that add up to a big difference in safety. Here’s to a safe and fun school year!