Updated: Feb 23, 2021
Back-to-school can be a chaotic time for parents and children, and it presents new safety challenges. Practicing and preparing children early for school dangers will leave everyone feeling safer and more secure. Whether your children are entering K-12, or are heading to childcare, practice these safety tips to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable back-to-school experience.
K-12 School Safety Tips
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “Every day in the U.S. more than 40 kids are hit by a vehicle while walking. That’s more than 15,000 children injured each year.” Children, especially kindergartners, may be unfamiliar with traffic laws. Drivers need to be extra alert during back-to-school, as children may unknowingly dart out into traffic.
Walk kids to the bus stop using sidewalks and crosswalks, and obey traffic laws.
Show children how to get on and off the bus safely.
Never bend down to pick something up in front of or under the school bus.
Make sure children walk at least ten feet in front of the bus to cross the street. Kids and bus drivers should always be able to see each other.
Walking or Biking to School
Obey traffic laws: always wear a helmet, avoid distracted walking or riding, and never speak to strangers.
Walkers and bikers should take safe, visible routes to school. Never let children take an alternative route without consent.
Encourage children to walk together in groups for safety.
Driving to School
Make sure everyone inside the car is safely fastened with seatbelts and car seats.
Never pull away from school until all children are accounted for and safely entering the building.
Make sure everyone knows the designated pick-up spot.
Don’t ignore playground head injuries! Make sure your child sees a doctor immediately.
Check the playground: make sure there are at least 12 inches of mulch, chips, gravel, or safety-tested rubber-like materials for cushioning.
Bullying: teach children the dangers of bullying. Look out for signs your child may be a victim of bullying.
The National Safety Council says, “Most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they're walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.”
Drivers, pedestrians, bus riders, and bikers need to pay special attention to crossing guards, stopped school buses, and distracted drivers and walkers. It’s imperative to slow down, pay attention, and make sure everyone has a safe commute to and from work, school, and activities.
Back-to-School School Safety Tips for Young Children
For parents sending their child to childcare for the first time, it can be an overwhelming experience. Because babies and toddlers can’t report problems to parents, it’s up to caregivers to be their child’s eyes and ears. Don’t be afraid to ask providers tough questions and practice safety and preparedness procedures with children.