Before children return to school, it is important for families to review back-to-school safety tips. All children, including teenagers, need to be reminded of how to stay safe at school. Children and teenagers can be impulsive, easily distracted, and they are more inclined to be thinking of fun rather than safety. Listed below are crucial back-to-school safety tips for all students and parents.
Be Careful Around School Buses
The hours before and after school are the most dangerous times for students. Whether a student is riding a bus, walking, biking, or driving themselves, safety precautions should always be followed.
Bus riders should wait for the bus at least 6 feet away from the edge of the road, and only enter the bus when it has completely stopped and the driver has indicated it is safe. When crossing the road in front of the bus, make sure to keep eye contact with the driver and stay 10 feet ahead of the bus where the driver can see all pedestrians. Parents of very young children should plan to stay at the bus stop. Once on the bus, students should listen to the bus driver’s instructions, and they always know the location of the safety exits.
Walkers and Bicyclists Need to be Aware of Surroundings
Walkers should always use the sidewalk when it is possible. On a street that has no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk facing traffic. When crossing, stop and look left, right, and left one more time to be sure the street is clear. Use crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers before stepping into the roadway. Walkers should stay alert and be aware of their surroundings. Cellphones and loud music can cause distractions and accidents.
Unlike walkers, bikers should ride in the direction of traffic. They should use hand signals so others are aware of their intentions and come to a complete stop at stop signs. Use the crosswalk to walk bikes across the street. Never use a cellphone while riding a bike, and always wear a helmet that fits properly. Put reflectors on bikes, and always wear reflective gear at night.
Teenagers who can drive are at high risk for fatal car accidents. It is best for new motorists to drive alone until they are more experienced because peers can be distracting. Other causes of distracted driving include personal grooming, eating and drinking, and texting. Students should be dressed and ready for school with the cellphone stowed away before they get behind the wheel.
Get Enough Sleep
Drowsy driving is another problem for teenage drivers who stay up late because of after-school activities and homework. Being well-rested is crucial for preventing drowsy driving accidents. Leave plenty of time to get to school instead of rushing out the door because leaving late encourages speeding.
Drive Safely in School Zones
All motorists must adjust to back-to-school traffic and be extra vigilant. Take a minute to walk around the back of the car before reversing out of a parking space or driveway. Drive slowly through residential areas, and approach intersections and crosswalks carefully while scanning the area for children. Additionally, never pass a bus that is stopped with flashing lights because there could be pedestrians on the other side.
Do Not Misuse Playground Equipment
Before school starts, parents should remind children about the safe way to use playground equipment. Some playground safety tips include:
- Go down the slide feet first.
- Do not stand on swings or railings.
- Do not walk in front of moving equipment, such as swings or seesaws.
- Wait in line without pushing or roughhousing.
- Children should leave jewelry at home as it can get caught in equipment. Children should also avoid wearing clothing with drawstrings.
After-School Safety is Just as Important
Parents should talk to their children about what to do once they leave school grounds. If possible, they should always stay with a friend or in a group. Parents must warn students to never talk to strangers, and never accept a ride from an unfamiliar person. Parents should teach children that if a stranger does something inappropriate or tries to grab them, they should yell as loud as they can and run away.
For parents who work, new technology, such as smart home locks and smart video doorbells, can improve safety. Each family member has their own code to a smart lock, and an app notifies parents who has arrived at the home. Children with cellphones can also be tracked so that parents can be sure of their location. Security cameras can provide a view of what is going on inside and outside the home until parents or a caregiver arrives.
Make a Back-to-School Safety Checklist
Families should make a safety checklist that can be posted and easily accessible. The safety checklist should include everything the whole family needs once the school year begins. The family should refer to the checklist periodically throughout the year.
Wilmington Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Injured Accident Victims During the School Season
Before school is in session, families should review back-to-school safety tips. If an accident does happen, families should explore their legal options. If you or your child becomes injured in an accident at school because of another person’s negligence, contact the Wilmington personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Complete an online form or call (302) 427-9500 for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.