Back to School Safety | SierraSun.com

Back to School Safety

TAHOETRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Going back to school after a summer of fun can often times be a difficult experience for both children and parents. After convincing the child that a year of good times awaits them at school, safety is often over looked in preparing for the new year. Care Flight would like to remind parents to not forget a few simple safety tips when planning for a new school year:

Traveling to and from School

Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.

Walk the route with your child beforehand. Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots, fields and other places where there aren’t many people around.

Teach your child never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children donand#8217;t know well or donand#8217;t trust.

Be sure your child walks to and from school with a sibling, friend or neighbor.

Teach your children whether walking, biking, or riding the bus to school to obey all traffic signals, signs and traffic officers. Remind them to be extra careful in bad weather.

When driving students, deliver and pick them up as close to the school as possible. Donand#8217;t leave until they are in the schoolyard or building.

If your child bikes to school, make sure he wears a helmet that meets one of the safety standards (U.S. CPSC, Snell, ANSI, ASTM). Research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent.

If your child rides a scooter to school, make sure she wears sturdy shoes, a helmet, kneepads and elbow pads. Children under age 12 should not ride motorized scooters, according to recent recommendations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Teach children to arrive at the bus stop early, stay out of the street, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the street, watch for cars and avoid the driver’s blind spot.

Remind your children to stay seated at all times and keep their heads and arms inside the bus while riding. When exiting the bus, children should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, exit from the front using the handrail to avoid falls and cross the street at least 10 feet (or 10 giant steps) in front of the bus.

Tell your child not to bend down in front of the bus to tie shoes or pick up objects, as the driver may not see him before starting to move.

Be sure that your child knows his or her home phone number and address, your work number, the number of another trusted adult and how to call 911 for emergencies.

On the playground

Check the playground equipment at your childand#8217;s school. Look for hazards such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. The surface around the equipment should be covered with wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or fiber material to prevent head injury when a child falls. Report any hazards to the school.

Avoid any drawstrings on the hood or around the neck of jackets and sweatshirts. Drawstrings at the waist or bottom of jackets should extend no more than three inches long to prevent catching in car and school bus doors or getting caught on playground equipment.

Make sure that the schooland#8217;s athletic director or a custodian anchors soccer goals into the ground so they won’t tip over and crush a child.

Teach children proper playground behavior: no pushing, shoving, or crowding.

Information provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

and#8212; Submitted by Care Flight representative Scott Walquist