It is hard to believe that summer is coming to an end and September is just around the corner. This means that kids are heading back to school to enjoy another year of friendships and academic learning. To ensure that your child has a good experience this school year, here are some safety tips to keep in mind. Consider reviewing some of these tips with your child and discussing with them why they are important.
- Always use public sidewalks; if there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the street, walk facing the traffic
- Always look both ways before crossing the street. Do not enter the street from between objects like parked cars, signs, trees or shrubbery.
- Teach children to recognize and obey the traffic signals, signs and the pavement markings
- Never dart out in front of a parked car
- Parents: Practice walking to school with your child, crossing streets at crosswalks when available. Have a pre-established route that you both agree upon.
- Walking with friends is always safer than alone.
- Review your rule of talking with strangers. Never get into a car without parent’s knowledge and permission.
- Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
- Do not walk while using headphones
- Always wear a helmet that is fits properly.
- Check with the school at what age children can ride their bikes to school.
- Children need to know the rules of the road: Ride single file on the right side of the road, come to a complete stop before crossing the street and walk the bike across
- Practice the route to and from school
- Ride bike with friends; there is safety in numbers.
- Watch for opening car doors and other hazards
- Use hand signals when turning
- Wear bright-colored clothing
- Arrive early to the bus stop so your child is not tempted to cut corners or run across the street while trying to catch the bus.
- Line up six feet away from the curb as the bus approaches
- When riding the school bus, wait for the bus to stop completely before standing. Make sure the bus comes to a complete stop before getting off the bus.
- Do not shout or distract the driver.
- Do not walk in the driver’s “blind spot” — this is the area from the front of the bus to about 10 feet in front of the bus.
- No texting while driving.
- Do not take a call on your phone unless you have a hands-free option in your car.
- Don’t change the music on your phone while driving
- Plan to get to school early. Accidents increase and defensive driving goes down when you are in a hurry to get to school.
- Slow down for school zones
- Students with a level two driver’s license in Michigan cannot take more than one passenger under the age of 21 in the car (with some exceptions)
As we think about other topics of safety in the school environment, you can visit the State of Michigan web’s page for more information.